Shepard was diagnosed with B-cell ALL on August 23rd, 2011; after his parents noticed that he was not his typical self and had a slightly bloated stomach. After a call to his pediatricians office, his parents decided to take him to the ER. He was quickly admitted and the hospital staff started running tests to see if they could pin point what might be causing his symptoms. After five hours at the hospital, Shepard was discharged with no insight into what might be causing his issues.
After his trip to the hospital, Shepard was mostly back to normal but continued to have bouts of fatigue and stomach pain. On the 22nd, he woke up in extreme pain and his pediatrician instructed his parents to take him to the hospital. After more tests were run, doctors noticed an abnormality in his blood that looked like leukemia.
A month after his second birthday, the diagnosis was confirmed and Shepard began his journey with leukemia. This journey would include nearly nine months of intense chemotherapy followed by maintenance for over two years. While the journey has not been easy for Shepard, his resilience has been incredible. Though he is only half way through treatment, he and his family are confident that he will beat leukemia.
This year, Shepard and his family are raising awareness for children’s cancer as Ultimate Hike Heroes. To learn more about the Ultimate Hike and how you can join the fight against children’s cancer, visit www.ultimatehike.org