2 Years Old at Diagnosis
In the Spring of 2011, Easton Begoon’s mom, Tara, noticed that Easton was sleeping a lot, running fevers, and seemed congested with trouble breathing. At his 2 year-old-appointment she voiced concern about bruising, but was told that he was just an active 2 year old boy that might be a little clumsy.
Fevers continued to pop up each week and the doctors ran some tests and put Easton on antibiotics for strep. His doctors thought that he would start feeling better over the weekend, but he didn’t get better. The next day he woke up with what she believed to be a rash, so Tara brought him back to the doctor. Once the doctor saw the “rash”, she ordered further testing. That “rash” was actually petechiae, or bruising under the skin due to extremely low platelets. Once the results were back, they were told that they had to go to the hospital immediately via ambulance.
When they got to the hospital, an oncologist told them the shocking news. Easton had leukemia. The oncologist told Tara that they had never seen someone with such low platelets or hemoglobin and such a high white blood cell count. They were amazed that Easton had made it through the weekend. Further testing revealed that Easton had a very rare form of leukemia called ETP ALL.
Easton’s treatment was difficult. His cancer is rare, and after 6 months of chemotherapy, Easton hadn’t gone into remission. His doctors tried another treatment protocol and prepared him for a bone marrow transplant. Luckily, Easton’s bone marrow transplant was successful. Now Easton is 18 months post treatment, and doing well. He deals with some long-term side effects from treatment like neuropathy and developmental delays. “The issues don’t phase him,” says Tara. “He’s just a happy 4 1/2 year old boy who loves playing with his friends.”
During their time in the hospital, Tara kept hearing nurses talk about CureSearch and the Little Rock CureSearch Walk. They convinced Tara to join their team and help them raise awareness and funds for other children like Easton. Tara had a great time spreading the word about the Walk, and helped their team raise more than $5,000.
When the Walk came around, it was the first time that Easton had been around other people since he was diagnosed. He was able to play with his friends and enjoy being a kid. “I loved watching all the children get their medals,” explains Tara. “It was so special hearing Easton called a hero. It was also touching to release balloons in memory of those who did not make it. The Walk was just incredible.”
To find a CureSearch Walk near you, visit www.CureSearchWalk.org.