09 Jan Everybody Loves Roman…Tucker
Roman Tucker is an energetic, 2-year-old daddy’s boy who loves football, monster trucks, Paw Patrol and ambulances. In June 2018, Roman took an ambulance drive that changed his life.
Jessica and Chris Tucker have two children; Phoenix, who is 9 years old, and Roman. In typical 2-year-old fashion, Roman bopped his head and blacked his eye. It became infected overnight and prompted a trip to the Emergency Room where he was given some eye drops. A few days later, a blood blister developed on his hand and looked infected, so Roman ended up in the ER again.
His blood work results were abnormal and alarming, which required a trip to Children’s Health Care of Atlanta at Scottish Rite. There Roman was diagnosed with B-cell Leukemia. “His platelet count was nonexistent – he would have not clotted and bled to death,” Jessica says.
B-cell leukemia is a blood cancer. One of Roman’s cells mutated into leukemia cells and rapidly reproduced. B-cell leukemia is 95 percent curable with a chemotherapy called Methotrexate. The treatment attacks the rapidly reproducing leukemia cells.
“He has done really great with all the treatments,” says Jessica. They travel from Cedar Town, Georgia, every two weeks. “Even when he is sick and nauseous, he is still full of joy and energy.”
They were unfamiliar with the Ronald McDonald House before Roman’s diagnosis. “We didn’t know they had anything like this,” Jessica says. “We definitely didn’t expect the playhouse to be inside or the beds to be that comfortable.”
The Peachtree-Dunwoody House is crucial with their frequent chemotherapy visits. “I love that we can come stay a night before treatment, and it’s right across the street. It helps out a whole lot. We love it here,” Jessica says.
“It’s crazy to see the walks of life that cancer can affect,” Jessica says. “Cancer doesn’t care, it affects everybody and anybody – to see how much a child’s sickness can affect everybody around them.”
Friendly volunteers and staff, with the connections made with other families make the Tucker family’s journey feel lighter. “Everyone is really great,” Jessica says. “This place is outstanding and we are very grateful.”
As December, Roman is cancer free. He has a 95 percent chance of going through the rest of his life without any more issues.
Stay updated on Roman’s recovery by following RomanStrong on Facebook.