1 in 5 children diagnosed in the United States won’t survive cancer or cancer's side effects.
Our child was one of those.
Seth could have easily been "Websters" definition of a country boy. He was obsessed with hunting, passionate about four-wheeler riding and had a love of everything about the outdoors.
Seth was the picture of health, which is why we were all surprised with his diagnoses on July 25, 2007, with t-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Seth symptoms consisted of stomach complaints, nothing that would have made us think that childhood cancer would become our worst nightmare. Seth's white blood count, at diagnosis, was 259,000- the normal range being between 5 -10 thousand. He was admitted to ICU immediately and although he would be labeled an "early rapid responder" to chemotherapy, he was still considered high-risk. Our daily lives were now centered around "road maps", CBC's and ANC's, all of which any cancer patient will recognize.
Seth hit the maintenance part of his therapy right before his 11th birthday, in May 2008 and "the three amigos" (which was what we often referred to our little family as) began to live life to the fullest each and every day, not letting cancer stand in our way. Thankfully our friends, family and community offered the support and love to help us through our son's cancer journey.
The news of Seth's relapse came on January 15, 2009, with the only option being a bone-marrow transplant. Just three days after Seth's transplant, he began to show signs of complications from his radiation treatment. Once admitted to ICU, he was diagnosed with veno-occlusive disease. The one and only medication known to treat VOD, Difibrotide, was unavailable at the time at the University Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi. And while family, friends and complete strangers struggled and fought to get this drug to him, Seth's body continued to shut down with each passing day. After two weeks in ICU, Seth passed on May 31st, 2009. Seth left his parents with unimaginable grief, which will never leave them but he also gave them back a reason to live with the birth of his sister on May 20, 2010. Saydee Hope Harris is the spitting image of her brother as a baby and we can only hope that she has his heart and his amazing wit.
While dealing with Seth’s Diagnosis, treatment and complications, we found that very few resources exist for the families of these tiny warriors, and after Seth’s death, we vowed to change that with this childhood cancer foundation. This website is an extension of that desire to help others in Seth’s name by raising childhood cancer awareness.