Three-year-old Abel’s persistent fever was a big concern for his parents. After three weeks of on-again, off-again illness, he tested negative for the flu and strep. His parents were told that Abel had a virus, but when the fevers persisted, they knew it must be something more. Blood tests determined that he needed to seek the care of the oncology/hematology specialists at Children’s Hospital at Erlanger.

In March of 2015, Abel was transferred to the care of Dr. Meghann McManus who diagnosed him with leukemia. Bone marrow tests would reveal that Abel has pre-B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia — the most common form of the disease.

Abel started a chemo plan right away, but doctors discovered he also had minimal residual disease, a condition where small numbers of leukemic cells remain in the body after treatment, increasing the chances of relapse. In response, his chemo was switched to a much more aggressive protocol. After months of this stronger treatment, Abel is now very close to being in his maintenance phase – meaning his cancer is in remission.

“He takes his chemo like a champ,” his mother says. “When he has to have shots at home, he doesn’t cry or get upset at all. He really, truly is my hero!”

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