My wife and I found Steve Chenoweth standing near the exit of a Wal-Mart parking lot holding a tri-fold cardboard sign with his daughters picture on it asking passerby’s to donate their money to help his daughter and other families with funding for children with leukemia. Here’s the background story from the Caring Bridge site where you can help the Chenoweth’s help others through Mia’s Caring Heart Foundation.
Please consider donating to this site
Mia (four years old) developed a small rash on her right hand approximately five months ago, along with a runny nose that would come and go and I took her in to see her pediatrician. He informed me that it could be something she picked up at pre-school, like cheap hand soap or maybe something they were using to clean her desk. He put her on a topical steroid cream for 10 days and when that didn’t work, I took her back in to see him. He told me to take her to an allergist or a dermatologist because she might be allergic to her dog or something else. He wasn’t sure what the rash was, but he did tell me to take her to a specialist that might be able to know. Well, in the meantime, I found a great home for her dog and took her in to see an allergist. That appointment took almost a month to get. She told me that she hasn’t seen a rash like that and for me to take her to a dermatologist, but we did have an allergy test performed and found out that she wasn’t allergic to anything except cats. We don’t have any cats and then she was very upset that we didn’t have her dog anymore. Well, another month goes by before she can see a dermatologist and he informs me that the rash on her hand is just Acute Eczema and for me not to worry. He gave me more cream and said that it will take awhile before we notice it clearing up.
Well, being the mom that I am…..I took her to an immunologist/allergist for another test because she still kept having this runny nose off and on. Come to find out, the first allergist was right on the money, but he did give her a check up and told me that she had a swollen lymph node. I told him to show me where it was located so I would know what to look for and on our way out of the office, I called our pediatrician again and made an appointment for her that day. Our pediatrician said that it was probably just a viral infection because she appears to be very healthy and gave her amoxicillin. Well, after 7 days, it was still swollen and I took her back. He said sometimes it takes 14 days…..! Well, we were getting ready to go to the movies and I was brushing her then long beautiful hair and I noticed these red dots on her neck. They were not there the night before. We all go shopping and to the movies and I just didn’t feel right, so I called the pediatrician again and asked to be seen that day (Friday) because I couldn’t wait until Monday. He said that she had petechiae and again it could be from a mild viral infection and everything is fine, just bring her back on Monday. I told him that I wanted a blood test done on her and he agreed. I told him that I wanted to know what was wrong with her by the end of the night. He then checked her ears, nose, throat, lungs and stomach and told me not to worry. So, we go to Sonora Labs to get her blood test done.
I get home and google petechiae and I notice a leukemia tab and I start reading the symptoms and I call my hubby in to read it and he says, “Quit reading that stuff, you will make yourself sick.” Well, I had this gut feeling and at 8:30 pm, I get a call to take her immediately to the ER because her blood work is substantially abnormal. I asked him if it was cancer and he said that he couldn’t tell me, being he’s not there reading all of the lab results. I asked him what was her red/white blood count and I just knew it. We took her in and the attending ER told us that the rash on her hand were the first signs of leukemia. Are you kidding me? We took her to Dr. English who is ranked very high in the state of AZ for dermatology and he didn’t know this. He told us that Mia had Acute Eczema. Get this: The ER doctor felt her stomach and told us that her spleen and liver were extremely large. Are you kidding me again??? Her pediatrician just checked her 3 hrs. ago and said she was fine. I was told later that she could have been holding her breath or just not in a good position. Needless to say, the next day, we are informed that she has Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) Pre B Cell. She cut 17 inches of her hair and donated it to Locks of Love. Sunday, she’s receiving her port and starting chemo that night. It’s been so hard seeing her change virtually over night.
“I used to think that I was a very strong woman, but I have nothing on my daughter! She’s amazing and sooooooooo very strong. She will overcome this. I just know it!”
You can also send your donations by mail to:
Steven or Harriet Chenoweth
270 E. Hunt Highway
Suite 16, #154
San Tan Valley, AZ 85143