As proud supporters of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, we would like to introduce you to their patient of the month: Eight year old Leland!
In 2014, Leland started having headaches. His parents were concerned but not alarmed, because migraines run in the family. But then more symptoms appeared. Leland’s grandmother noticed he was holding his left arm funny. His mother, Marisa, noticed his smile was off kilter in a photograph. Soon, a series of tests revealed Leland suffered from an aggressive brain cancer known as an atypical teratoid/ rhabdoid tumor, or simply ATRT.
When considering treatment options, Marisa sought her doctor’s recommendation. “My doctor said, ‘If it was my child, I would be going to St. Jude,’” Marisa recalled. After receiving a referral, Leland and Marisa were on their way to Memphis.
At St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®, Leland’s treatment has included surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. “St. Jude is amazing,” said Marisa. “Not just all the leaps and bounds they’re taking medically, and how many children they save, but how they don’t just treat his diagnosis. Kids can be kids here, and I think that helps a lot with their healing.”
Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to 80 percent since the hospital opened more than 50 years ago. We won’t stop until no child dies from cancer.
Leland loves to make people laugh. He says silly things and never lets anything get him down. “He’s strong and amazing,” Marisa said. “I draw my strength from Leland, because he amazes me every day.” Some of Leland’s favorite things are tacos, baseball, kittens and the beach. Watch a video about Leland here.
Here at ProspectsPLUS! we’ve committed to helping kids just like Leland and their families get the help, support, and medical attention they need. We’d love to have you join us in effort!