Last November, Natalie and David’s son Clayton went to school like any other morning.
But later that afternoon, the Tennessee 6-year-old’s temperature spiked to 104 degrees.
Natalie rushed him to the emergency room.
After cultures and tests they concluded Clayton had a rare form of Leukemia.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital was his best option.
“It was shocking…It took me awhile to grasp that was what was going on. As I look back at how quickly everything was done, St. Jude is top notch. There was no question of let’s test him and do the pre-op things. It was let’s get him here as quick as possible,” said Natalie.
By that night, Clayton was admitted to St. Jude and doctors already had a plan.
“While any parent would be nervous with their child having cancer, they kind of take that worry away. There is so much hope. You see the hope but when you walk in the building you truly know the meaning of hope.”
The caring hospital staff treats patients like their own family members.
Hope is in every room and around every corner of the hospital.
Seeing the artwork on the walls gives patients and families the positive energy needed during hard days.
“They come to us with so much hope and research. With him being in a small percentage, it does make make me nervous, we are in a research hospital and if it weren’t for Clayton’s diagnosis we would not have this research for leukemia.”
Natalie and David know their son has an uphill battle but are grateful for the doctors and staff of St. Jude, who are leading the way with the newest treatments.
“Getting here was one feeling. Being here was another feeling. We just have so much hope.”
Clayton is fighting a rare form of Leukemia, but you wouldn’t know it by talking to him. He’d rather crack a joke or chat about sports than talk about his cancer.
“I still think Clayton has been give quality of life here…I thought about all the things he is going to miss but he really hasn’t missed anything.”