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UnityPoint Clinic - Express (Ankeny)

1055 Southwest Oralabor Road
Ankeny, IA 50023

Current Estimated Wait:
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UnityPoint Clinic - Express (Jordan Creek)

180 Jordan Creek Pkwy
West Des Moines, IA 50266

Current Estimated Wait:
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UnityPoint Clinic - Express (Waukee)

950 E Hickman Rd
Waukee, IA 50263

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UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - Altoona

2720 8th Street Southwest
Altoona, IA 50009

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UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - Ankeny Medical Park

3625 North Ankeny Boulevard
Ankeny, IA 50023

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UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - Ingersoll

2103 Ingersoll Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50312

Current Estimated Wait:
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UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - Southglen

6520 Southeast 14th Street
Des Moines, IA 50320

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UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - Urbandale

5200 NW 100th Street
Urbandale, IA 50322

Current Estimated Wait:
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Gerald

Gerald is a boy who loves being active! Fishing, golfing, flag football, and Cub Scouts are some of his favorite things to do. He recently put his love of movement to work at Blank Children's, even while battling cancer. 

Gerald was diagnosed with Burkitt's Lymphoma in June 2020. Burkitt's is a very aggressive lymphoma where the tumor can double in size in 24-48 hours. There is no known cause, and people of all ages can develop Burkitt's. Because of the aggressiveness of the cancer, the treatment is also very aggressive. Within a few days of diagnosis Gerald received a chemo treatment through a lumbar puncture. This was followed by weeklong inpatient treatment stays about every three weeks through September. Each treatment included multiple types of chemotherapy. Some of the chemo drugs were administered over 30 minutes or an hour, while others were 24/7 for multiple days at a time. Each treatment was bookended by lumbar punctures to test his spinal fluid to check if the cancer was in the spinal fluid and to inject a course of chemo drugs. When Gerald wasn't in the hospital, he would visit the clinic every few days to check on his progress and blood counts. Gerald was one of the lucky few – he only received one blood transfusion during treatment; many with Burkitt's receive multiple transfusions. 

"Gerald's diagnosis blew my mind and world and made everyone who knows and cares about Gerald feel helpless," said Gerald's mom Jennifer. "His dad Brent and I didn't really have time to feel since everything happened so fast." 

After finding out that exercise helped with recovery from chemo, Gerald decided to use his time in the hospital to raise funds for Child Life. He raised over $12,000 by walking laps around the pediatric oncology floor during each hospital stay! There were times where just getting up and walking took some effort, but the family, friend, and community support was outstanding. 

"We were very humbled by the number of people that helped support Gerald and our family, from across the nation, in this journey," said Gerald's dad Brent. 

Gerald started school remotely in August 2020 and kept up with his classmates, even during chemo treatment, a blood transfusion, and multiple clinic visits. Gerald was able to return to in person learning in February 2021. By the end of the 2020-21 school year, Gerald's classmates noted him as a funny and kind friend who persevered through the many challenges of 2020. 

When asked about her brother, Gerald's sister Kierra shared a sentiment that everyone can agree on: "Gerald is very friendly. When he smiles, I feel like I accomplished something. He is great!"