Riddick was diagnosed with stage 3 Burkitt Lymphoma on July 1, 2021. He was five years old. We noticed something wasn’t right when his stomach was suddenly bloated, and his energy level seemed to be dropping.
We called the doctor’s office, they believed it was just constipation, and we should give him more MiraLAX. He was diagnosed with encopresis several months before. This didn’t ease our concerns because he was still getting MiraLAX regularly, but we listened and increased the dose.
A few days later, Riddick seemed to be getting worse, so we called, again and again. They said he just needs more MiraLAX. I had enough, so my mom and I took him to the emergency room.
We waited for hours for some kind of clue as to what was wrong with him. The doctors finally ordered an X-ray and a C.T. scan. They came back indicating no stool in his colon whatsoever but a buildup of gas.
This didn’t make any sense to me because I felt a mass inside his stomach. Nothing the doctors said made any sense to me anymore. Then they said he needed to be transported right away to the Boise facility because they didn’t have the staff needed to take care of him.
Then, they kept apologizing and saying that no mother shouldn’t have to go through this. But they still wouldn’t tell me what was wrong. We had spent the entire night in the E.R. to have no answers, and my baby was going to have to go in the helicopter to Boise, which I couldn’t go with him. I had to drive up because there wasn’t enough room for us all to go. Watching my son take off in the helicopter without me was one of the hardest things I have ever done.
Thankfully my stepmom called me and told me she was driving me up, so I didn’t have to wait. I still thank her to this day for doing that for us. By the time I got there, the doctor had come in and told us that from her experience, it looked like tumors.
From that point on, it was a rollercoaster. It didn’t really sink in until he went for his biopsy, and we asked the oncologist what the chances of it being benign were. He looked at us strangely and said, “none, but you have to know that by now.” That’s when we saw how tiny Riddick was. His tiny little fingers not even being able to hold onto my hand. It was the most painful and devastating experience of my life. He was diagnosed with stage 3 Burkitt Lymphoma. After that, we set up a game plan with the oncologist and finally felt like everything is going to be OK. We knew he was a fighter, and he was going to come through stronger than before.
Facebook connected my family with the MVPCC. I put a post asking for pricing and help to find someone who could clean our house while we were in Boise for Riddick’s treatment.
Matt Lancaster wrote on my post asking if I heard of MVPCC. He then got me the information and application. They helped us find and pay for the cleaning crew! Every member has been so fantastic, helping us out with anything we need like gas cards, rent, car payment, and school supplies. They hold wonderful gatherings to help us stay connected to the community and find other families who are going through the same thing.
They also helped us with Christmas, sponsoring our family with so many wonderful gifts. Plus, the emotional support from these wonderful people has been the best thing that has happened to us in such a long time.
Lacey Lancaster has always been there for me to call and cry or ask dumb questions. I know I can always count on her for absolutely anything.
All of the members are truly the biggest gift anyone could ever ask for. I am truly blessed to have met such wonderful people!
Written by: Sierra (mom to Superhero Riddick, age 6)