Michael William Sparkman was born October 11, 2001 full of love, life and a zest for knowledge. His affection for reptiles, especially frogs, began at a very young age. Throughout his brief childhood, he loved like he lived…fiercely.
At 6 years old, after limping for a couple of weeks, I took Michael to an orthopedic doctor, convinced that he may have twisted his ankle. At that point, I was not very concerned, given that he was a typical, vivacious young boy. However, when the doctor returned with his x-rays and a stunned look on his face, I instinctively knew that my life was about to dramatically change forever. Michael was diagnosed with cancer and so began our unfathomable nightmare as we immediately began the typical protocol and testing.
A few days later, the doctor smiled and seemed relieved to tell us that, “It’s just Lymphoma. He should be in remission in 6 weeks.” After the initial testing was done 1 month into his treatment, things seemed to be going in the right direction. All the tumors had shrunk significantly, though there was still some activity in the knee which was the primary location. We were assured that this was nothing short of miraculous to have such significant progress in just 4 weeks. We were very hopeful at that point that we would in fact achieve complete remission. Treatment continued and there was a delay during intensification stage due to low blood counts.
Again, we were assured this was completely normal and not to worry. After a 5 week delay, treatment continued. Within 2 weeks Michael started limping again, the pain was so bad, I though he may have broke his growth plate which is where the primary tumor started. After x-rays were done, it was determined there was nothing wrong with his bones, and we were referred back to his Oncologist.
We were readmitted that day for more testing, they were afraid the cancer was again spreading. Our worst nightmare was confirmed that night. It was July 19th 2008, and we never left the hospital again. Six months later, on October 21, 2008, ten days after his 7th birthday, Michael’s life was taken by the cancer. Throughout his ordeal, our smart, loving and beautiful son touched the lives of many others with his sweet demeanor and precious personality.
It is our mission to raise both money for families facing pediatric cancers and awareness of this horrible disease. Please help us honor Michael’s spirit by making a donation.