On Sept. 21, Hudson Wade was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia.
Hudson, the 11-year-old son of ACU alumni Kirk and Laura Wade, is currently admitted to Cooks Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth while he undergoes chemotherapy to fight his cancer. He’s been through his first round and now waits for the results of bone marrow tests to see if any of his three siblings are donor matches.
Laura Wade, a clinical instructor at ACU’s school of nursing, said Hudson’s cancer is a more rare type of child leukemia and it requires tougher treatment. The treatment is much more intense and tougher on his body. He will be in the hospital for the duration of his treatment, even in his three weeks off before a second round of chemo.
“His hair is everywhere – on the sheets, on the pillow, on the floor, on his clothes,” Laura said. “It doesn’t seem to bother him though. There are so few choices he gets to make in here, so we told him he could choose whether or not to shave his head. So far, he doesn’t want to. He really has a good attitude about it.”
Hudson is one of four kids, and a bone marrow transplant from a sibling is a high possibility for treatment. Hudson’s brother and sisters have the best chance of being a match for the transplant, and match results should be in at the end of the week Laura said.
“He will have his next bone marrow aspiration and lumbar puncture next Tuesday,” Laura said. “This is when they will look to see if the chemo killed the cancer cells. If there are no cancer cells, doctors will give him a couple of weeks to build a little strength in his body before going on to chemo round two. If they see cancer cells, they will not wait and will just go straight in to round two.”
As Hudson continues to undergo treatment, he and his family have received immense support from the ACU community. Hudson’s friends have put on lemonade stands, various social clubs on campus have conducted gift card drives for the family, and thousands of people on Facebook have committed to praying for the Wades.
“It’s very humbling to receive all of this support and not be able to adequately say thank you like we’d like to,” Laura said. “To be gracious receivers is really teaching us a lot.”
After hearing about Hudson’s diagnosis, one of Hudson’s friends from Southern Hills Church, Dawson Mullins, decided to have a lemonade stand to raise money for the Wades.
Dawson said he’d heard of people doing lemonade stands for other things so when he heard about Hudson’s diagnosis, he knew what he wanted to do to help.
“When I was sleeping I had the idea,” Dawson said. “And I was thinking that I wanted to do it and I told my mom about it and now it’s just going on.”
So far, Dawson has had five lemonade stand and raised more than $900 selling lemonade, bracelets and baked goods.
“I like the part of it when I get tons of customers because that makes me excited that i’m going to raise more and more money for Hudson and it motivates me wanting to do it more and more,” Dawson said.
Dawson’s next bake sale will be Friday.
Dawson’s mom, Rebekah Mullins, works as a clinical instructor in the nursing school with Hudson’s mom, Laura. Mullins said she’s been amazed by the Wade family during this time.
“It’s really been a whirlwind trying to get him treatment quickly and trying to figure out what’s going on,” Mullins said. “I know that the family has been overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and support for them. They keep talking about how people are showing the love of God to them through this tragedy and they are a very special family.”
Laura said her work as a nurse and clinical instructor have helped her family better process the situation.
“I have the basic medical knowledge but then again I’m not an oncology nurse,” Laura said. “And I’m still a momma so it’s different when it’s your own child. It’s been hard, but Hudson’s been very tough and brave and is getting through this with so much courage and our other three kids are as well.”
Laura and her husband Kirk continue to drive back and forth between Abilene and Fort Worth as Hudson’s treatment continues. Laura said they are making it through with the support from their community.
“I can really say it’s because of the prayers,” Laura said. “Its definitely God’s doing. This whole thing and all the people praying and reaching out that we don’t know – it’s been an amazing thing to be a part of and not anything we can take credit for.”