The year was 1994. I was five years old and on the "little league" soccer team of Holy Rosary Catholic School in Memphis, Tennessee. I was eager to play, but after only a few moments on the field, my legs would begin to twinge in pain and feel too heavy to run.
Alarmed by this and by my persistent cold-like symptoms, my parents took me to the doctor. He found nothing unusual. Three months later, bruises appeared on my legs and thighs, and a blood test revealed that my white blood-cell count was extremely high. I was referred to the world-famous St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in my hometown of Memphis.
Memories from my first visit there are etched in my mind: the smiles of the doctor and nurses who greeted us … the seemingly endless tests … my equally endless repetition of the only question on my mind that day: “When do we get to go home?”… the look on my parents’ faces when they emerged from their consultation with the specialists. They had just learned that their only child had acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the…
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