5-year-old boy won’t let leukemia, genetic disorders stop him from learning, dancing

Kids with Courage
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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – You could say Tucker King is a budding linguist.

He signs to himself while riding in the backseat to his frequent doctor appointments.

Names and numbers always catch his attention.

“He watches his ABCs and just get consumed with it, he’ll watch it in English, he’d watch it in French, Russian, in Arabic,” said Sheldon King, Tucker’s dad.

But Tucker’s body hasn’t always been able to keep up with his curious, nimble mind.

“He spent his 4th birthday in the hospital and got a bone marrow transplant,” recalled Sheldon.

Tucker’s dad remembers the cascade of bad news they received when they sought answers for Tucker’s croup and exhaustion

“Tucker is a very cute young boy. He came into us with abnormal counts,” Dr. Rikin Shah said.

Tucker’s doctor at Jimmy Everest Center told the Kings that along with leukemia, Tucker had two genetic disorders.

Rebooting his immune system with a stem cell transplant was key to his survival.

“We essentially changed out Tucker’s defective blood cells with the normal cells from an unrelated donor,” explained Shah.

Medical experts say this is a very unique state-of-the-art treatment for him.

Tucker isn’t shy about dancing with joy when he feels like it, and that joy is carrying his family and medical team through.

“He’s been doing amazing. Everyone here is amazing. I’m thankful to have OU so close where we live and um, my hope is that he just lives a normal life,” said Sheldon.

“I see a spunky young kid who loves to be all over the place and it’s fun to see him do so well,” said Shah.

The pieces of a medical puzzle are coming together for one young boy and his family.

Due to COVID-19, the number of family members who can go to appointments and treatments is limited. However, medical staff at Jimmy Everest Center make it a priority to give kids fun, interactive experiences to make visits as positive as possible.

Kids with Courage is sponsored by The Jimmy Everest Cancer Center, consider donating to JECFriends.org.

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