4-Year-Old Diagnosed With Cancer After Coming Home From School With a Sore Throat

Boy with cancer
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If you worried about everything that could go wrong when you're a parent, you'd drive yourself crazy before the end of the first day. So very early on, parents learn how to pick their battles and decide what's worth spending their time and energy agonizing over. Which is why when one mom's little boy was sent home from school with a sore throat, she didn't immediately enter extreme panic mode. 

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Kids get sick and share germs at school all the time, right? So when Josie Barron got a call about her 4-year-old boy, there was no need to sound the alarms. However, this mom from Australia's "perfect" life quickly came crashing down.

"The next morning, while he still slept, something made me go and check on him, turning on the lights and pulling back the cover," she wrote on her Facebook page, Mummy Social. "I found him covered in a rash and an ambulance was sent."

When Dexter arrived at the hospital, he was immediately started on antibiotics while an array of tests were run. When the results came back, Barron was informed that she needed to get her husband to fly home now. "Within a couple of hours of arriving, I was taken into a room where I was told our darling boy has leukemia," she wrote.


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Dexter was given blood transfusions until he was strong enough to move to a different hospital, and the news is still sinking in for his shocked family. "I don't want to see my boy's name on the white board in the ward for children with cancer. I don't want to have witnessed my boy's blood curdling screams while emergency procedures had to be done," she wrote. "I don't want to be signing consent forms for bone marrow to be taken and drugs to be administered. I don't want to be walking my child into treatment rooms knowing he's about to be injected with chemo and I don't want to be seeing the side effects already kicking in. I want to be back in our lovely home with both his sisters, in our blissfully happy bubble that I didn't even realize was so happy until now."

According to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, leukemia is the most common cancer in children and most kids are diagnosed between 2 and 4 years old. There is little known about what causes this cancer of the blood, and initial symptoms are related to irregular bone marrow function. 

Symptoms of leukemia in kids, according to the American Cancer Society, can include anemia, bleeding or bruising easily, reoccurring infections, joint pain, swollen lymph nodes, abdominal pain, trouble breathing, fatigue, weight loss, rashes, and gum problems. 

Boy with cancer
Mummy Social/Facebook

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Although it felt like Dexter's diagnosis came without any warning, Barron is focusing on how extremely lucky they already are: Dexter was given a 90 percent chance of going home healthy and happy after his treatments are finished. "There are children and families on this ward who are in far worse positions than us," Barron wrote. "So I am looking on the positive side, gritting my teeth, taking it one hour at a time, and being the cheeriest, silliest mum I can be!"

Although Barron was initially reluctant to share Dexter's story, she's overwhelmed with the positive impact it's having. "The blood donations have been pouring in, charity donations waiting to be made, the messages of similar stories have been shared, awareness is spreading and hundreds of positive vibes are coming his way," she wrote in another update. "So THANK YOU for your support. It's overwhelming me a good way. The glass bubble has been removed and you've helped me get my boxing gloves on ... f*ck you cancer."

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