Crystal Weaver, of Batesburg, kept taking her son, Jared Hudson Jr. (L.J.), to the doctor for nosebleeds and leg pain, but was told that a sinus infection or virus probably was the cause.
“We began seeing a new pediatrician who had done her residency at Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital. She took one look at L.J. and immediately made arrangements for him to be taken to Children’s Hospital by ambulance,” said Weaver.
Bloodwork and testing revealed that L.J. had acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). “It was pretty scary. I quit my job to be with L.J. We were in the hospital for more than a month and came home right before Christmas,” she said.
It was especially difficult for a child as active and interactive as L.J. to miss an entire school year during his treatment. “L.J. immediately bonded with Ms. Trish at the clinic and he loves her to pieces,” said Weaver. He now goes for follow-ups with his care team at the Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center every three months.
A highlight for L.J. during treatment was the opportunity to attend CAMP KEMO and take his older brother, Taden, along. “It was tough for me because it was the first time I was ever apart from him, but when he got home, he could not stop talking about CAMP KEMO. He is super excited to be going back this year,” said Weaver.
As soon as his chemotherapy port was removed, L.J. began playing football. Today, at 11, he also loves riding his four-wheeler, jumping on the trampoline and playing video games. He looks forward to joining the military or becoming a football player when he grows up.
“This has been a very positive experience in a lot of ways, even though it’s been hard,” said Weaver. “We couldn’t ask for a better team of doctors, nurses and staff. They made it a wonderful experience. As a family, we are more aware of how precious each day is and we don’t take life for granted.”
CAMP KEMO is June 12-17 at River Oaks Retreat in Honea Path. CAMP KEMO is funded by donations. One way to donate is directly through CAMP KEMO’s site, campsite.palmettohealth.org.