Bryan Carroll (2008-2015)
This story is for my little boy, Bryan Carroll and his journey with AML. Bryan was a fun loving little boy who was starting school, making lots of friends, and enjoying life. He gave the best hugs to me, his mom, and his older sister Abby.
It was October 2013 and Bryan started having leg pains but it would come and go, but they started to get worse. So, we took him to our family doctor who thought it must be growing pains. However, the pain continued so we took him to many other appointments, but nothing was ever found. This went on for months until May 19, the day of his sixth birthday party, when he woke up with a nosebleed.
We tried for hours to get the nosebleed to stop but it wouldn’t, so we took him to the emergency. This was the first time they did a blood test and it found his platelet count was so low he couldn’t clot to stop the bleeding. I had no idea what this meant at the time.
Bryan was admitted to the hospital for more tests. We heard the horrible news that our 6-year-old baby boy had acute myeloid leukemia. I had already lost my mom and dad to cancer!
The treatment started and it was a long six months of living in the hospital, but it was worth it as the treatment had worked and he was cancer free. Over the next six months, Bryan was back in school making new friends and enjoying life with no pain. We were getting ready to go on Bryan’s wish trip to Disney and LEGO Land. Bryan and Abby were so excited.
His check up and the blood work showed that his platelet count was dropping again. This was the worst news. The cancer was back. The doctor had a plan, but the first round did not go well. The cancer was getting stronger.
I asked if we could take him on his wish trip, so everyone worked so hard to make it happen before starting the second round of chemotherapy. The trip was amazing for Bryan and Abby and the memories help so much. When we got returned, he had to go back to the hospital the next day.
Bryan was so amazing dealing with the pain and treatment, but the cancer was too strong. Then came the meeting with the doctors and the words they had to tell us were beyond painful. Bryan was going to die. They couldn’t give us a timeline, but it was coming soon.
We said we want to take him home, we never told Bryan as we wanted him to enjoy his life as much as he could. We never gave up on our love for him, so we planned as much as we could to bring him joy.
During this time, he had an amazing three to four months before he start to have pain again. This continued for about another month before he passed away on November 10, 2015 in his own bed at home with loved ones around him.
Bryan was an amazing runner. To remember and celebrate his life, we created Team Bryan and joined Team in Training to run and raise money for blood cancer research and hopefully to keep another family from feeling the same loss as us.
Live on forever Bryan!