Sawyer Rucker was a happy, healthy infant, the youngest of 8 siblings. In mid July 2014, he became increasingly fussy and lethargic, and we suspected anemia. Bloodwork at our pediatrician showed an incredibly high white blood cell count, and led to his diagnosis of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) at 7 months old. Doctors estimated that the onset of his leukemia had occured roughly a few weeks before, and that he likely had only 24 hours to live on the day of diagnosis. He immediately began an intensive round of chemotherapy at Children's Medical Center of Dallas. Infant ALL is rare and aggressive, and the statistics are not encouraging. But our family trusts that God has a perfect plan for Sawyer's life, however long that may be. Sawyer finished treatment in January 2017, and returns to Dallas for quarterly checkups.
Isabella "Izzy" Faith Godwin began having severe stomach pain and vomiting in January 2014, which led us to an Er visit. A CT scan revealed a mass on her left adrenal gland. Ultimately, we met with a pediatric surgeon at Children's Medical Center and the mass was removed on February 28, 2014. The surgeon called us on the following Friday to give us the devastating news that our precious little girl has ganglioneuroblastoma. Before ending the phone call, this revered surgeon said "we have to chalk that original CT scan up as one of God's great and many wonders." The scans immediately following this diagnosis showed that the cancer was contained and at that point she required no further treatment. However, a follow-up scan in August showed that it had spread throughout her lymphatic system and many areas within her bones - hips, arms, legs, and vertebrae. This was by far the most devastating news of all. We were well aware that a new diagnosis of Stage IV Neuroblastoma meant a grueling treatment protocol for years to come, including very aggressive chemo, internal and external radiation, a stem cell transplant, and antibody therapy at the very least. We put on our armor of faith and prepared for battle.
Eric was a normal happy healthy baby. At the age of 15 months Eric was diagnosed with AML, Acute Myeloid Leukemia. The subtype was M7 which affected platelet development. We began chemotherapy treatment immediately at Children’s Medical Center Dallas. He did not go into full remission. He had two bone marrow transplants (BMT). One autologous BMT in Sept. 1994 Children's in Dallas, and one cord blood BMT Feb 1995 at UofM in Minneapolis, MN. After both BMTs he relapsed. We were out of options. Eric turned 3 on Nov 1, 1995 and died on Nov 13, 1995 at the age 3 years & 13 days.
Our family was put in a terrible situation but we made the best of it. We realized that God gives you His children to raise, but they are just on loan. Eric has gone to be with his real Father and we will see him one day again.
In November 2009 Olivia was a healthy, active 10 year old girl. She began having trouble bending 2 fingers, and an MRI revealed a tumor in her spinal column. Surgery a few days later left her paralized, and a biopsy brought the dreaded diagnosis "stage 4 Cancer". How could this be when just a few days earlier, she was running around the yard, playing with her sister and friends? She was diagnosed with Anaplastic Astrocytoma brain cancer. It is a very fast growing and incurable brain cancer. Olivia received radiation treatment and chemo. After 8 months an MRI revealed the tumor was growing again, it could not be stopped. On November 3, 2010 our Lord called Olivia home to heaven.