To see Colin Sanders as he swims and plays outside with his friends and family, you would think the Thrasher Elementary first grader is the picture of health. And today, he is. But that wasn't the case just a few years ago.
Colin, who lives in Signal Mountain, Tennessee, was just 14 months old when poor eating habits, weight loss, and failure to thrive led his parents, Mindy and Brett, to take their son to the pediatrician. It's a good thing they did, because in December 2007, Colin was diagnose with Stage IIA, high-risk neuroblastoma. Doctors told the Sanders family they were lucky the cancer was detected as early as it was.
"I immediately started to cry, which made Colin cry," Mindy remembers. "I learned right then that I had to suck it up and keep moving."
The Long Fight
The Sanders family had a long road ahead of them, but they had guidance along the way. Though Mindy is a nurse and Brett is a doctor, neither was familiar with neuroblastoma. Wendy Ransom and Emily's Power for the Cure provided the help the Sanders needed. Wendy offered the full support of Emily's Power for a Cure, and explained that the organization's resources were available any time assistance was needed. Over the next year, Emily's Power for a Cure provided meals, friendship, and love to the Sanders family during an incredibly stressful time in their lives.
The next year moved at a frantic pace as the family traveled several times a week to the oncology clinic at Children's Hospital at Erlanger. Colin underwent five rounds of chemotherapy, a stem cell transplant, three weeks of radiation, and antibody therapy, all of which combined for a successful outcome. Today, Colin has no evidence of disease and he looks forward to a career as a doctor.
"Emily's Power for a Cure gives so much—including financial and emotional support and HOPE—to families affected by neuroblastoma," Mindy says. "It is so comforting to know there is a group of people who are fighting for a cure for your child so you can focus on taking care of your family."