LAWTON, Okla. (KFOR) – It’s a great day for 11-year-old Hayden Lowe of Lawton to bounce his cares away on the family trampoline. He’s one of five children, so his family is in constant motion. But his mother, Tracey, stopped and listened to his puzzling complaints of leg pain.
“He just had some kind of pain in his leg and sometimes it would alternate different legs, and sometimes he couldn’t walk, and sometimes he’d be running around so we were confused,” says Tracey.
Tracey took him to doctors more than once. She recalls, “At one point the doctors thought he was faking it, and I thought maybe he is faking it.”
But her growing suspicion wouldn’t let go.
“There was something about his cry that spoke to me. ‘I don’t know, there’s got to be something there.'”
That’s when Tracey traveled from Lawton to Jimmy Everest Cancer Center, where blood tests revealed that pain was the pressure from rapidly multiplying cancer cells, crowding in his bone marrow.
Tracey remembers “A bunch of doctors came in at once and they said, ‘Yes, it is leukemia,’ and I was shocked.”
That was the start of a three-year leukemia journey for the Lowes. There were dozens of trips from their Lawton home to Oklahoma City. Hayden’s bouts with chemotherapy induced nausea and boredom, but were eased by his siblings. He also bonded with his medical team at JEC.
“They’ve always had excellent staff and been really good to us,” says Tracey.
Hayden finally took his turn ringing the bell at the clinic, indicating he is cancer-free. He’s ready to get back to just being a kid.
“He’s forgotten some of the things he went through, but he’s also grown a lot since then and has learned to appreciate life,” says Hayden’s mom.
Hayden finally got a chance to learn how to ride his bike as well. They are childhood milestones this big family no longer takes for granted.
If you’d like to help kids like Hayden fight cancer, consider donating to JECFriend.org.