RINGWOOD, Okla. (KFOR) – It’s a sunny afternoon, and the Campbell family is enjoying s’mores at an outdoor firepit at the “Kids Corral” in Oklahoma City.
The “Kids Corral” is a haven for families dealing with medical treatments, and a home away from home for this family from Ringwood, Oklahoma. Their world tilted sideways last April when their 11 year old daughter, Haddie, started to experience mysterious symptoms. Haddie’s mother, Jade Campbell, remembers aches and pains that would come and go, creating constant exhaustion for Haddie who is normally active and athletic.
“One day it would be her shoulder that hurt, and the next time it was chest pains,” recalls Jade. “One Monday Haddie woke up and she was in so much pain, I just remember she couldn’t even raise herself up out of bed.”
Haddie remembers that time clearly as well.
“My sister gave me a nickname I was furious with at first. Now I realize why. She called me ‘old grandma.'” Haddie recalls, “I wasn’t even able to bend and pick up my shoes.”
It’s no wonder Haddie felt that way. She didn’t know she had an invisible cancer, multiplying in her bone marrow. Haddie’s dad, Brent, gets choked up when he remembers just how much Haddie was suffering as they tried to find the cause.
“Just seeing the effects on your kid. It’s pretty tough” says Brent Campbell.
The diagnosis was finally made at OU Children’s Hospital. It was acute lymphoblastic leukemia, or ALL. Haddie spent weeks and then months in the hospital after the diagnosis. Her cancer did not go into remission after the first intensive rounds of chemotherapy, so a new treatment plan went into effect which also meant additional side effects. Jade Campbell says “It gave her foot dropsey, She had a hard time walking. She had to use a walker.” But that therapy did what it was intended to do. Tests that came back in August showed the cancer had cleared from her body.
There are some treasured moments from Haddie’s ordeal. Once when she was able to go home to Ringwood, firefighters drove by in their firetruck, along with a bus load of classmates to wave and wish her a happy birthday.
Jade laughs at the memory, “She had her own mini-Haddie parade, a birthday parade.”
Brent smiles and says “Our family is rooted and grounded in our faith, and without that I can see how it would be easy to spiral.”
They say their medical team at Jimmy Everest Cancer Center made all the difference.
“I do not have favorite nurses, but I do have favorites” jokes Haddie. “I think the care they offer is just incredible” says her parents.
Haddie’s treatments will continue for the next two years, but she’s thrilled to be back home with a good book or on a good trail on a horse. Their family has so much gratitude.
Brent sums it up this way, “It’s a very long journey, but we’re hopeful. Hopeful with where we’re at and where we’re going.”
If you’d like to help children like Haddie fight cancer, consider donating to JECFriends.org.