It's one of the worst sentences any parent can hear: Your child is very sick.
Those very words had to be said to the Peters family from Alveda, OH. It's been a long journey, but along the way the Children's Miracle Network has been there for little Isaac Peters and so many other patients and their families.
When we visited Isaac recently at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center in Toledo, we could tell he was in a place no child should have to be, getting a procedure no kid should have to have. It was the day for his spinal tap testing.
Isaac's mother Jennifer Peters remembered when she saw something wrong with her son.
"I noticed that he had real pale color and dark circles under his eyes," she recalled, looking back about a year-and-a-half ago.
"I remember thinking at the time that he looked like those children in the St. Jude's commercials. He kind of had that yellowish color to him," Jennifer told us.
"I just couldn't believe it," said Isaac's father Kevin Peters. "I really just didn't want to believe it."
It was true. Isaac has cancer.
To attack the Leukemia, it's been a constant flow of tests, treatments and trips to St. V's. The schedule affects Isaac and his whole family. Jennifer and Kevin have three other children Grace, Jonah, and the new arrival Levi, who's just months old.
"[Cancer] changes everything," said Isaac's oncologist Dr. Rama Jasty. "It changes whether you go to work or not. It changes who is going to take care of the rest of the kids. It changes how many days you spend in the hospital."
Because of the sudden impact cancer has on a family and patient, the Children's Miracle Network steps in to help in their darkest of days, providing a crucial ray of hope and some fun with toys, games, books.
"When we were first diagnosed, Isaac was not able to leave his room. So, the playroom came to us," Jennifer told us. "At that point, Isaac was two-and-a-half years old and he liked playing in water. So, they would bring a tub and we would splash and play all day."
"It gives him something to do," said Kevin. "Compared to just laying in the bed all the time and not having (anything) to do."
The Children's Miracle Network makes sure kids of all ages, young like Isaac and older teens, have that break from all of the medical procedures. A break that they need and deserve.
"It's a great benefit because children are here 24 hours a day, sometimes several days in a row, sometimes several weeks in a row. And so, they need that distraction," Jennifer explained. "And even when they're not feeling that well, they still need something to do...something to pass their time."
And it's a chance to know the young patients are not alone. Others just like them and their families have to deal with cancer and all of its consequences.
"You meet a lot of other families there and they might be going through the very same thing," Jennifer described. "And it's a good social outlet for children who may otherwise be in their rooms."
In addition to the playroom, Children's Miracle Network gives families like the Peters a chance to get away from the hospital, too.
"We see that Children's Miracle Network actually helps do some of the fun activities," said Dr. Jasty. "At least two to three times a year, we do different types of activities with the families. Whether it's a baseball game or a get-together at the zoo, whatever it is...whether it is a Christmas party. All these little things, not just help getting through the day, but the fun (activities bring) the families together so the families get to know each other, make friendships and make the bonds. And, of course, the kids have lots of fun."
Isaac's prognosis is good. The medical staff said he has a great chance at beating this cancer. And even though he's only three-and-a-half years old, it's the way he's fighting that has mom and dad so proud.
"Just how he's handled everything and just how he seems to be so mature and confident and secure in what he's doing," said Jennifer.
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