Brady is a spunky redheaded five-year-old boy with three older brothers. He is as rough and tough as they come. Brady loves to play soccer, loves to wrestle, and likes playing baseball and football in the yard with his brothers. The boys love to watch Iowa State games together and do their own versions of the instant replays.
In May of 2019, Brady told his mom that his leg hurt. When he wasn’t able to walk on his own, she took him to the emergency department at Methodist West Hospital. Routine tests didn’t reveal anything obvious and Brady was sent home to rest from what appeared to be a virus. A few days later, Brady experienced a nosebleed that wouldn’t stop and they went back to the emergency department. This time, more tests revealed a shock to their family: Brady had leukemia.
“Brady showed virtually no symptoms. He is high-energy and has always been extremely active, happy and healthy,” said Chris, Brady’s dad. “In hindsight, he had some bruising, but I just assumed he got them from wrestling with his older brothers.”
Treatment began immediately with a 28-day round of steroids and chemotherapy. He now alternates lumbar punctures, chemotherapy and lab work each week. Accessing Brady’s port for treatments has been a challenge, but with the assistance from the Child Life specialists and amazing nurses, Brady has taken ownership of his circumstances and “helps” the nurses to prep his port for access. Despite these drastic changes to his life, Brady and his family have done extremely well and much of that can be attributed to Brady’s positive attitude and the help from their community.
“Brady is so positive! I think we all could learn from him. We have also learned not to take a day or anything in a day for granted. All of this seemingly came out of nowhere, but now that we have a game plan, we can move forward a day at a time,” said Chris. “The communities in Adair and Casey have been absolutely amazing! Our school, church and local businesses have been doing everything they can to help us out. And all of our family members have been absolutely amazing - I don’t know how we would do this without them.”
Brady was diagnosed during baseball season and other parents pitched in to make sure the two middle boys made it to games and practices. One of the baseball teams even put “Bstrong” stickers on their helmets. His soccer team put together an awesome care package, complete with jerseys. When either team medaled at a tournament, Brady got one too!
“Our family is a team and we are strong. Everyone has their role. My oldest son, Cole, has shuttled the boys to practices and games and helped so much at home. Tommy, my 11-year-old, is so caring and takes such good care of Brady and is so supportive. William, my 8-year-old, is helping Brady ‘keep it real.’ He treats him the same as he always has, never letting him make excuses. We are humbly reminded that people are kind, and during this difficult time there is still so much good in the world,” said Brady’s mom, Lindsay.
Brady will continue treatment for the next three years, but thankfully he isn’t thinking about the years of treatment. He is already resuming normal activities like baseball with his brothers, starting Kindergarten in the fall and cheering on the Iowa State Cyclones in football and basketball!