Jacksonville — “It’s tough, right now Kacey, what would you say? Your blood is sick and we’re making it better?” Mike Ladd finds himself in a position no parent is every prepared for. His four-year-old daughter Kacey has leukemia.
The signs started innocuous enough; a fever. The family took Kacey to a doctor, who dismissed it as a run-of-the-mill sickness. Mike says they didn’t think much of it until one day, “I came around the corner of my house and Kacey was just in a hulk. Just a lifeless mass on the ground.”
An alarming sight, the family took Kacey to Nemours to be tested. As they started to eliminate possible ailments, doctors zeroed in on a diagnosis of Leukemia.
“At some point they start talking about Leukemia and we’re very, very scared. You kind of hear about it. You kind of go through life with blinders on not knowing what’s out there and get woken up like that.”
And it wasn’t easy news for Mike to process. “You break down because you start letting your mind run. You start thinking about life without your child and my wife was like ‘hey suck it up.’ You know, ‘put the rucksack on and let’s get going.’“
Mike said they buckled down, reading every pamphlet and piece of information available to them about the disease. His wife never left Kacey’s side through it all. They were building up for the fight of their life.
But the Ladd family didn’t have to do it alone. Mike recalls the support he got from family, friends and even his workplace. Despite the hardship, Mike found an opportunity for gratitude and a chance to count his blessings. “It sounds odd to say, but I’m one of the most fortunate cancer parents you know. Being a full-time National Guardsman and luckily having Tri-care for medical insurance that’s very comprehensive.”
Grateful for the medical care Kacey was receiving, the Child Cancer Fund helped fill in the gaps. Whether it was a toy or something as small as a lollipop, things that Mike says often don’t come to mind or simply can’t be purchased because of time constraints.
“Even a doll, a $10 or $15 doll given at the right moment, that’s more important than a million dollars,” Mike adds.
Kacey is currently undergoing daily chemotherapy and antibiotic boosts on the weekend until 2020. A tough schedule, but the family remains positive.
“God willing we’ll stay cancer free. We won’t have any ‘r-words’ come up,” So Mike says they remain extremely optimistic. “We never ever talk about losing the fight, she doesn’t know that’s an option and she’ll never know that’s an option. “
Mike wants you to know your donation to the Child Cancer can help tremendously.
“It matters to these kids, and I guarantee you there’s no one that deserves it more than these kids.”