CENTRAHOMA, Okla. (KXII) - 9-year-old Brody Horton was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in February, a blood cancer where bone marrow makes too many immature white blood cells, crowding out healthy white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets.
The National Cancer Institute reports the disease gets worse if not treated.
Brody's mother, Jackie Horton, said Brody was taken to the children’s hospital in Oklahoma City after being diagnosed in Ada.
“At that point we received units of blood which were lifesaving to Brody," she said. "Had those units of blood not been available, this would have been the end of his story.”
Since then, Brody has been on an intense weekly schedule of chemotherapy with blood and platelet transfusions, using 12 bags of blood and four bags of platelets so far.
Jackie said her son loves playing and watching sports.
And although he has been sidelined because of a weak immune system and other factors, he has remained positive and taken the challenge head on.
“He’s got high spirits," Jackie said. "He never complains one day about having leukemia. He never has looked at it as a negative thing. It’s always been a very positive thing.”
Jackie said the support from her family and friends has been overwhelming with a Brody Strong campaign surfacing and family members overcoming fears to give blood in his honor.
“We’re fortunate," Jackie said. "We have a great community of supporters. We’ve had two blood drives in his honor. Both of those have been...amazing for us.”
Horton said her son’s fight would not be possible without blood donors and taking the time to donate is more than a chore or an errand.
“It’s not just driving to the clinic and giving blood," Jackie said. "It is saving someone’s life.”
In August, Brody will move to a once or twice a month treatment and transfusion schedule for the next two and a half years, on his way to living a normal life once again.
“But we’ll keep striving and pushing until those days do," Jackie said. "He’s done really well with those treatments so far and we couldn’t be any happier. We’re thankful for the Oklahoma Blood Institute.”
To help patients like Brody, you can donate at drives in Sherman, Ardmore and Ada on Fri. June 28.