28 Feb Ronald McDonald House Helping Levi Lansdell “Hulk Smash” Cancer
“Atlanta RMHC has been one of the few bright spots of Levi’s treatment,” says Mom, Karli Lansdell, a nurse.
In early August, Levi, 3, from Armuchee, Georgia had leg pain. A series of tests found no infections. “They said it was probably growing pains but to come back in two weeks if he was not feeling better,” says Dad Zach.
Levi’s pain became progressively worse, and he began to have trouble standing. Karli asked his doctors to run different blood panels. On August 10, his doctor called. Levi’s lymphocytes were extremely high, which is an indicator of Leukemia.
Levi was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia and then admitted to Scottish Rite. “It was the most devastating day of our lives,” Zach says.
Levi has been strong and resilient through every step. His family believes he will “HULK SMASH” this cancer.
Most of his treatment is inpatient. Each of Levi’s chemotherapy sessions lasts 30 days. During those sessions, Levi is immunocompromised requiring him to stay near the hospital even when discharged. He also has follow-up visits in between treatments to make sure his immune system is recovering.
Living two hours away and having early morning appointments was hard. “Levi was 2 when we first started this journey and typically was scheduled for appointments at 7:30 in the morning,” Karli says. “Getting a 2-year-old up and ready at 5 a.m.., having to fight Atlanta traffic, all while trying to explain to the child why they cannot eat or drink before the procedure, can be difficult to say the least.”
“We would have made Levi’s treatment work no matter what,” Karli says, “but that certainly would have been more difficult without Atlanta RMHC.”
Levi looks forward to spending the night at our House near Scottish Rite before starting his treatments. He enjoys playing in the treehouse, which he has named the “Magic Treehouse.”
“He calls the stuffed animals his ‘buddies,’ and they help ease his anxieties and calm his spirit,” Karli says.
Karli and Zach appreciate the safe, clean and affordable lodging our House has provided as well as meals and our laundry services. Most of all, they love the many fun-filled activities for children to keep them distracted. “With all our needs taken care of, we can just focus on Levi’s care,” Karli says.
“The Atlanta Ronald McDonald House is just so welcoming,” she says.