June 24, 2009 my wife and I hurriedly gathered up our son and rushed to the hospital because his blood sample necessitated immediate attention.  It was soon discovered that Charlie had cancer.  He was going to need treatment, but the chance of recovery were very good.  We were told it would be a long process with many elements involved, but we were assured that there is an end.

October 19, 2012 marks the last major milepost towards the end.  We calmly checked in at the the same hospital complex to have an apparatus removed which assists with the treatments he underwent over the past three plus years.

Occasionally we are asked about all that my son Charlie has been through since diagnosis of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia through treatment and now having his port-a-cath removed.  People are shocked at all that has transpired.  We have lived through the struggles and came out the other side.

Our family is extremely blessed because the beginning is always the hardest part of the sojurn.  Shock, anguish, isolation and fear are the first feelings.  Following in their footsteps are resolve, gratefulness and confidence but with caution.  Anything could happen through the course of treatment, so the philosophy is to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.  We experienced the joyful end of that scale and have watched others suffer the pain of loss.

Things happen in life and we are revealed in both the struggles and victories.  Not one of us will go through life without some kind of tragedy.  However at the outset of this expedition, it was described as a journey of a thousand miles.  The journey is about at mile number 980 with this part of our life.

Our family is deeply grateful to the staff at Sanford Children's Hospital who took the role of guides through this process.  We met a host of doctors, nurses, child-life specialists and other support staff that did their jobs extremely well and built friendships with them along the way. Every day these people have to assist a host of different patients and their families with their own story to tell.  They have to live their lives in the shadow of cancer everyday and are committed to everyone who comes for treatment.

Many thanks to others who have assisted with prayers, thoughts, acts of kindness, gifts, plus the time spent with our family in helping us with our needs during our difficult time.  More living lies ahead and we pray that God will watch over as we look forward to undertaking the next thousand mile journey.