Meet Weston

Name: Weston
Diagnosis: Acute Myelogenous Leukemia
Age: 4
Favorite hospital meal: Pepperoni pizza
Favorite holiday: Halloween
Favorite celebrity: The Hulk
If I could have any superpower, it would be: Super strength
When I grow up I want to be: A train engineer
I am proud to be a Children's Champion because: To help other kids like me!

Bio:

From the moment Weston was born, he was adored by his parents. However, when Weston was just 7 months old, things began to spiral out of control. Within a three-week span, Weston went from a healthy, symptom free child to getting a diagnosis that would change his life.

After three weeks of flu-like symptoms and multiple trips to the pediatrician, ER and urgent care, Weston was diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML) — a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. Children diagnosed with AML currently have only two approved treatment options: high-dose chemotherapy and stem cell transplant.

Within 24 hours, Weston was admitted to a hospital near the family's home in Kansas City to begin treatment. One round of chemotherapy — that's what his parents hoped it would take to put Weston's cancer into remission. But it didn't. In fact, four rounds of chemotherapy failed for Weston.

It was time to move to the second option: a bone marrow transplant. A match was found on the national bone marrow registry, but that donor declined. Doctors also failed to find a cord blood donor leaving the family with the last remaining option — a risky parent-to-child bone marrow transplant. With no other options, his mom agreed to be Weston's bone marrow donor.

Just four days before his first birthday, Weston underwent a successful bone marrow transplant, followed by chemotherapy. Within a month of the transplant, he was out of the hospital and continued to make progress.

But within three months, Weston relapsed. His parents were looking for anything that would benefit Weston and came across a trial being conducted by Dr. Jeff Bednarski at St. Louis Children's Hospital. Less than a month after first learning about the trial, Weston was on the way to St. Louis to begin the NK1 trial.

After a lot of ups and downs, Weston and his family received the news they so desperately had been searching for on the day he was discharged from Children's: Weston was officially in remission!

At 3-years-old, Weston is starting to live the childhood his parents had envisioned for their son. Due to the immunosuppressant medication he’s still taking, his social interaction is extremely limited, but he's finally able to play like other kids his age. And while he's not out of the woods yet, he's been in remission since January 2019, longer than ever before.

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He's faced complications along the way, and no one knows exactly what the future holds for Weston, but Dr. Bednarski and his NK1 trial have given the family hope not offered anywhere else.

Watch Weston's Story: