Wednesday, June 29, 2011

5 Months to Live: Aaron Knight’s Story

By Pamela J. Wells
Published on 6/29/11

Aaron Knight has vague memories of his life during the first years, which were spent in and out of the oncology ward of the hospital where he underwent radiation and chemotherapy treatments. As a baby, from the very beginning of his life, he had a variety of complications that left doctors searching for the cause. They were finally able to diagnose him, when he was 5 months old, with leukemia.

His prognosis was poor. He remembered the doctors telling his mother that he “only had 5 months to live, then they would say 2,” but he surprised everyone when those dates passed him by. When Aaron was 4, his family and him were relieved to hear that he was in remission. Although his mother new that there was a chance of recurrence, it wasn’t until a few years later that Aaron was able to absorb all of it; the fact that he had cancer, survived it, and how significant that was.

Aaron was doing well for about 8 years and then he noticed “a bump on his calf.” When his doctors told him and his family that it was a tumor all of the old fears came back, but luckily, it was a benign tumor. At age 16 he had another scare when he found “a cyst on this earlobe”; however, the good thing was that it turned out to be benign as well.

What little memory he has of his early years are of the times that he spent making cookies, coloring eggs, and playing with the other kids in the oncology ward on Easter. He remembers his mother bringing him hot food from home and giving him eggs to eat, seeing that he did not like the hospital food, she wanted to make sure he was eating. His mother was always there, by his side every day at the hospital. She quit her job so that she could be there for him.

Aaron is now 21 years old, attending Prairie View A&M University, where he majors in political science. He has not had any more scares of tumors since he was 16. He is active in helping and supporting others who have cancer and regularly speaks as a cancer survivor. In his junior year of high school, he participated in the Relay for Life. He now works at the American Cancer Society as a volunteer, which he is very proud of.

Copyright © 2011 Pamela J. Wells. All Rights Reserved

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