2011 Miracle Ambassador
Age 13 - Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center
On July 27, 2009 James was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), Philadelphia chromosome positive. His original prognosis was 20% with a five-year survival rate with no bone marrow transplant. The prognosis was changed in late October 2009 due to new protocols and the updated prognosis is now 80% with a five-year survival rate without a transplant.
James has been on monthly “mean” chemo for 16 months and has endured monthly spinal taps and three visits to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). His family is very glad that James is in the maintenance phase. The scariest moments in treatment have been the trips to the PICU. James took one trip by ambulance when he lost consciousness at home because his blood pressure dropped when his white blood cell counts were zero. Another PICU trip was when he had a possible drug interaction with an antibiotic that caused water build up in his lungs. Luckily, James is very strong and rebounds quickly each time.
James loves video games on XBOX and his PC. He also enjoys cooking and is really hooked onto the Food Channel. He's even met Hubert Keller from Iron Chef! Prior to his diagnosis, he was working on his black belt in Karate, which was his main sport and kept him strong. After being diagnosed, James has been active helping others and getting the word out about childhood cancer. James hopes to be a pediatric oncologist when he is an adult. Despite all of the challenges he's faced, James has continued to keep his grades up during this difficult time and always has a positive attitude.