In April 2013, Amanda and Brandon Hill took their 2-year-old son, Wyatt, to the pediatrician.
While he was there, the doctor noticed something wasn’t quite right, so he ordered some blood tests. Within hours, Wyatt was airlifted from Cape Girardeau to St. Louis Children’s Hospital. That’s when the Hills heard the words that are every parent’s worst nightmare: “Your child has Leukemia.” The next day, Amanda and Brandon were both heartbroken and stunned as they watched their son being wheeled into surgery.
“That’s when we started our journey to fixing our
little man,” says Brandon. “We couldn’t believe that just eight hours before, we were oblivious to the fact that he had a monster inside him.”
Wyatt received chemotherapy almost every day
throughout the three weeks that followed, and the treatment’s intensity took a toll. His pain was so severe that he couldn’t walk. During that time, the Hills were under an enormous amount of stress. Their world had been turned upside down, and they were more than 100 miles away their hometown of Jackson, Missouri. Fortunately, the Ronald McDonald House, located just steps away from the hospital, became their “homeaway-from-home.”
Not having to worry about where they would sleep or find their next meal meant that Amanda and Brandon could focus their time and energy on helping Wyatt heal.
Wyatt’s treatments continued throughout 2013, and when a trip to St. Louis was required, the Hill family knew the Ronald McDonald House would be there. Seeing familiar faces at the House was a source of comfort on their return trips, especially when Wyatt was very ill.
“We ran through a very rough patch around Labor Day last year,” says Brandon. “There were times in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) where we weren’t sure what the outcome would be for our brave guy.” Now Wyatt is in what is called the “maintenance” stage of his treatment. He no longer receives chemotherapy treatments in St. Louis every 10 days; instead, his family makes the trip every three months. He also takes an oral dose every night. The Hills are counting down the days until June 10, 2016 – Wyatt’s final day of chemotherapy in St. Louis.
“We are so blessed to have our child with us today,” says Brandon. “He’s just like any other 3-year-old: full of energy and so smart. He continues to amaze us, and he will forever be our hero.”
Specialty Plate for the State of Missouri
The Childhood Cancer License Plate for the State of Missouri has been APPROVED. Send us your application and fees to receive one of the first 200 plates.
All proceeds from this program we donate right back to on the ground childhood cancer research at St. Louis Children's Hospital
5 Easy Steps
1. Fill out the application
2. Pick your Personalized Plate options
3. Write a $5 check to Friends of Wyatt
4. Write a $15 check to the Missouri Department of Revenue
5. Mail your application, $5 check, and $15 check to:
Friends of Wyatt
P.O. Box 531
Jackson, MO 63755