Around the holiday season, many people will take a break from what can be a hectic time — from the shopping, the wrapping, the giving and receiving — to reflect on their blessings. Even a family spending a second Christmas at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital because their child has cancer can find reasons to be grateful.
“We count our blessings as a running tally,” said Andy, the father of baby Nathan. “There are so many.”
At birth, Nathan had purple spots on his body — petechiae — that led to a diagnosis of mixed phenotypic leukemia at 3 days old. Newborn Nathan had two different types of blood cancer at the same time.
“Our first blessing was him being born alive,” Andy said. “Two, we are extremely thankful there were signs he was sick when he was born — if he didn’t have the spots, we would never have known he had cancer, and it would have gotten worse before we knew what was happening. And then, having St. Jude has been a blessing.”