September 15, 2013 – Caleb Hoppe

Our Riley Kid of the Week for this week is Caleb Hoppe! Caleb is two years old, and is about as sweet and outgoing as they come!  Caleb has a twin brother named Carsen who is his best friend.  The boys were born only 4 minutes apart.  Caleb absolutely loves farming. When he can, he loves riding on the tractors and combines through his family’s fields with his great uncle or great grandpa.  He also loves sports, especially baseball, soccer, basketball, and football. He’s always very active and loves playing outside, but also loves watching TV and Disney movies. When he and his family get the chance, they all love to go to the zoo and also to the Shedd Aquarium.

At 17 months old, in May of 2012, Caleb was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). He was born a happy and healthy baby.  In May of 2012 after his parents noticed some random bruising, they took Caleb to his pediatrician for blood work. That night they called his parents and told them to take Caleb to the nearest children’s hospital to redraw his blood. After running tests and blood work, that night on May 21, 2012, Caleb was diagnosed with Leukemia. The next morning, Caleb, (with his mom), were rushed by ambulance to Riley’s Children’s Hospital, which was about 3 hours away.  Caleb stayed at Riley’s Children’s Hospital for a week while they did bone marrow aspirations, put his port in his chest, and started his 1st round of chemo.  Caleb had a rough 1st year of treatment; going to the hospital 2-3 times per week.  He missed 1 whole year of Holidays because he had low blood counts and could not be around people.  He started his Maintenance Phase in February 2013. As of May 2013, he’s been doing much better. Caleb now takes oral chemo daily, goes to the hospital every 4 weeks for IV chemo and to check his blood counts, is put on steroids 1 week out of every month, and every 12 weeks he gets a spinal tap (chemo inserted into his spine) as well. His counts still vary between being high and low, but luckily he’s handling treatment much better now. Caleb has just under 2 years left of chemotherapy. He should be done completely on July 30, 2015, making his entire treatment plan lasting 3 years and 3 months.

Despite all of this, Caleb’s family has started a non-profit organization, called iCaleb&Co. Their mission is to provide an iPad, Otter Box cover, and an iTunes gift card to every child in active treatment battling cancer at South Bend Memorial hospital (the hospital where Caleb spends most of his time at). The organization runs strictly on donations, and every amount is always very much appreciated. To view their mission statement, donate, and/or read more about the organization and get updates on Caleb, you can visit their website and/or Facebook page!

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