Landon has been a fighter his entire life. He was born 10 weeks early at 3lbs 14 oz on July 9, 2010. His first 5 weeks of life were spent in the NICU. But then, he was finally ready to go home. Despite being born prematurely, there were no concerns for his health. He was thriving! He continued to exceed all expectations and had no delays.
His childhood was spent like any other typical boy. He loved playing in the dirt, racing matchbox cars and building with legos. He was an only child until about age 6. But he finally become the big brother he always wanted to be! Landon has always been considered an “old soul” with a heart of gold. He loved everyone and enjoyed making people smile.
Landon lived a healthy life and hardly got sick. Just two months after he turned 7, he began to complain of leg and joint pain. He was excessively tired and small bruises had started to appear out of nowhere. Landon’s mom knew something was wrong, so she called his pediatrician and surprisingly, they had a last minute cancellation and could fit him in that morning.
As soon as his doctor came in, she knew. She took a quick look at him and then exited the room. Just a few moments later, she re-entered and told his mother to take him for blood work ASAP. When they arrived to the lab, the waiting time exceeded 3 hours. But, when the front desk receptionist saw his paperwork, she said he would be next. Soon after blood work, the pediatrician called and said Landon’s labs weren’t all back, but the ones that did were coming back abnormal. She had made an appointment for him to see a hematologist/oncologist that coming Wednesday. Landon never made it to that appointment.
A few hours after the pedatrician called, she called again telling Landon’s family that he needed to be rushed to the Emergency Room right away. He was admitted to Cardon Children’s Hospital in Mesa, Arizona. Just an hour or two after arriving, a doctor came in and told his family that Landon most likely had Leukemia, and he was in critical condition. At diagnosis, Landon’s WBC (white blood count) was over 88,000. The specific type of Leukemia would be determined after more testing, but they knew it was leukemia. He was officially diagnosed with High Risk Pre -B cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). on September 12, 2017.
Landon had surgery to place a port into his chest and began chemotherapy almost immediately. The first few days he received countless blood transfusions and stayed in the PICU until stable enough to move to the oncology floor. He spent just shy of 9 months enduring extensive treatment with some very scary complications. Landon went into anaphylactic shock due to one of his chemotherapy medications called pegaspargase, he had to endure the only other treatment option, Erwinia. For every 1 dose of pegaspargase that Landon needed, he would be required 6 doses of Erwinia given as an injection intramuscular. Because of his dose amount, each of those six rounds required 2 shots (1 per leg) and they were very painful. Some kids, Landon included described the pain as a severe burning feeling. It’s been said that the pain is comparable to burning acid. He would cry and scream each time and was required to be forcefully held.
Landon’s protocol for high risk leukemia is 3.5 years long. His end of treatment date is set and will not change. He will take his last chemotherapy on December 27, 2020. Landon is considered to be in remission, but will need to remain on chemotherapy for the entire length of treatment. (Blood cancer is much different than other cancers. A lot of people have the misconception that once in remission, treatment should be finished, as it is with other cancers. This is not the case with Leukemia.)
Today you’ll find Landon playing video games, soccer, racing around on his bike and snuggling up to his pets Tommy and Rusty. Landon’s family has learned that each day is a gift, and are so grateful to spend each one of them with Landon.
To follow Landon’s journey, find his personal page on Facebook