Lucas Dunigan is our hero of the day. About four months ago Lucas was diagnosed with T-cell ALL. It was just a few weeks before Christmas in 2014 that Lucas came down with strep throat. So off to the doctor he went and he was given a ten day supply of amoxicillin. He was able to recover rather quickly and was ready for that jolly old fat man (Saint Nick) to show up.
A couple days before Christmas, there was a noticeable change in Lucas. He was tired, but spirits were still good. Then on December 29th his mother had fears that her son’s strep throat had made its way back. So they went back to the doctor. Lucas got tested for strep, and it came back clean. The pediatrician ordered a blood test and his potassium, and WBC’s were elevated. Immediately he was sent to Children’s Hospital in Birmingham AL.
Arriving at Children’s, that ensued the battering of testing. The testing resulted in the diagnosis of T-cell ALL. So then, the treatment began to rid his body of this horrible cancer. The normal WBC is about 10,000 and Lucas’s was over 400,000. Slowly and surely the WBC count came down. Lucas was doing well. His father Mike stated, “He is AMAZING!! He is such a strong boy and taking everything in stride. Yes, he’s scared, but he pushes through it with all the support he’s receiving”. This was not Lucas’s first go around with medical professionals. Lucas is said to be able to run through a brick wall if it is in his way. He’s had his fair share of accidents along the way, and he’s tougher than a sack of nails.
Lucas recovered nicely from all those little accidents before being diagnosed with ALL. From falling of bunk beds to getting hit by his brother with a baseball bat. And even getting his WBC’s back down to close to normal. Lucas was able to leave the hospital on 10MAR15. While he was not free of the cancer, there was good feeling in the air.
Then on 07APR15 Lucas was admitted to the hospital again. He had a bowel infection. The latest update on Mr. Lucas is as follows:
It has been a roller coaster for our family over the past 2 weeks. Lucas was out of the hospital for 3 days when we returned to clinic on Tuesday April the 21st. As most of you know his (MRD) minimal residual disease..results from the bone marrow biopsy were 1.2 % which wasn’t under the .01% we had hoped for.
With that result we were told over the next 9 weeks Lucas would receive very aggressive treatment for the 1st 6 days inpatient for 3 cycles, each one lasting 21 days. The only time he could come home would be when his counts were high enough. Anything under 500 is considered no immune system at all. We were then re admitted that day.
His 1st cycle started on Wednesday April the 22nd. Fortunately for us living in Birmingham and being close to children’s Lucas got to come home on Tuesday the 28th as his counts were better. This was such great timing because Lucas was able to make it to Michael and Ashley’s wedding on May 1st! It was so exciting for him….he needed the excitement.
Lucas was re-admitted on 5/2 as counts were 70. The hemoc/oncology team estimate being here until Wednesday or Thursday next week. If that goes as planned, Lucas will have a few days break until he starts round 2 of the next 21 day cycle on May the 12th. His counts have to be high enough to start over again.
Lucas is a warrior, and we are praying that the “tougher than a sack of nails” term will help Lucas pull through this latest update. Lucas was honored by Racing for Children and got to sign the car of Clint Guthrie. Also, when Mr. Lucas turns 15, he’ll get some driving lessons on the Indianapolis 500 track, he’s is pumped. So today, 05MAY15 I ride for a soldier at war. A young man that will get pushed to the limits, but will break free of this cancer that has stricken him. Mr. Lucas Dunigan, today I ride for you; a warrior and my hero. May your day be as blessed as mine will be. Today I am honored to ride in your name. Godspeed Ken.
To see more of Lucas story check him out here: