The Wooldridge Family
“We dance so Riley can have the best people to help take care of our kids. Addy was born with Spina Bifida with mylomengicele, hydrocephalus, clubbed feet and neurologic bladder. She has had 11 surgeries and procedures, in her almost 12 years of life, most of them at Riley Hospital for Children. With each one, she came through like a champ.
Things changed this August 25. Our son, Leo, laid down for bed and started getting pain in his right hip. We assumed it was a pulled muscle. He continued to go to baseball conditioning and school on that Friday, Monday, and even Tuesday. He finally said, “Mom, I think I need to see a doctor” late Monday. As soon as I got off work on Tuesday, we went to our local Urgent Care. They were unsure what it was. They ran some blood tests and told us they would call us the next day with the results. On Wednesday August 31, 2022, we got a call that will remain in my mind for the rest of my life. The UC called and said that we needed to get Leo to Riley ASAP because of his blood work. We loaded Leo up and went to Riley. They ran more tests and came in to tell us that the UC was correct. Leo had Leukemia. He was admitted into the hospital for 4 days for tests and observation. It made us giggle at the number of people that knew us via social media or knew who Addy was during her time as the champion between 2020 and 2021 when we fundraised through dance marathons to support Riley. After all the tests, we found that he had Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML), which is a less aggressive form of the cancer. His chemo is in the form of an oral pill, which he can take at home. Now our “why” is about not only supporting Riley staff, but now also supporting research. We are finding our new normal once again while we navigate his CML and the side effects of his medicine. Our stories keep us dancing, but it is the people that give us the strength to keep fighting. The support that Dance Marathons give us is unprecedented. The dancers are some of the most wonderful people. We will continue to dance as long as there are people to dance with!”
- Hope Wooldridge