Friday, March 22, 2013

Connor and Caden Ballard Beat the Odds Two to Nothing

Every parent's nightmare is to receive news that their child has been diagnosed with cancer. This nightmare became a reality for Chris and Lisa Ballard when not one, but two of their young children were given the same cancer diagnosis, lymphoblastic leukemia. 

In 2003, the Ballard's oldest child, Connor, who was five at the time, fell ill. After persistent complaints of what seemed like normal childhood symptoms, Chris and Lisa were hit with the devastating news of a cancer diagnosis. Connor's chemotherapy treatments, though very difficult on him, proved to be successful. It looked like cancer was finally behind the Ballard family, until later that year when their two-year-old son, Caden, began to show the same symptoms that Connor had exhibited before his diagnosis. 

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Though extremely rare, Caden was diagnosed with the same type of cancer as Connor and the Ballard's nightmare was once again a reality. But it was in the darkest times for this family that Connor pulled through and taught his little brother how to be a fighter. When Caden's hair began to fall out, Connor told him that it was cool. He showed two-year-old Caden how to swallow the six pills he had to take each day for his chemotherapy and would constantly remind him that he could do it. 

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Fast forward to today, and you would never even guess what these two brothers have been through together. You'll find Connor out on the basketball court and Caden on the football field, joining in activities just like all the other kids. They have both finished their treatments and now only have to go to the doctor for regular check-ups. 

Even though no parent would ever wish this diagnosis on one of their children, never mind two, Conor and Caden made the most of their grim reality by supporting each other through the entire process and going through such terrifying times together. These two brothers are an inspiring demonstration of the power and strength that a family can have, even at such a young age. 

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