Each week, Fourth and Gold will highlight a cancer warrior that has bravely and fiercely stood strong against childhood cancer. At Fourth and Gold, we want you to see the faces behind our drive and connect with them in a way you wouldn’t have been able to if you didn’t take the stand to demand #MoreThan4! Our precious kids have cancer, but cancer does not have them.
Michael Martin Reed, aka Wildman, diagnosed with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) at 3 years of age
Current Age: 4 (DOB 12/4/13)
Favorite things: Wildman loves to be doing anything outside! If he’s not outside, sit him down in front of his transformers and he’ll be entertained for hours
Favorite foods: Cinnamon rolls😋, corn, and Mexican food
If you know Wildman you know that he: Rightfully earned his nickname, but he wouldn’t be him without it! Michael is so smart, funny, and obviously extremely strong!💪🏼
What you can’t see here is that Michael: Has had over 32 treatments and he has 31 months left. 31 months left! That is 2 years and 7 months left of continuous treatment!
Michael’s mom, Jalesa on the hardest part of having a child with cancer: “The journey as parents is knowing what cancer is, what it can do, and that it is OUR child fighting it. It is also hard to feel like he’s being robbed of his childhood.”
One thing we wish people knew about childhood cancer: “Childhood cancer doesn’t discriminate. Cancer doesn’t care about your age, height, color, iq, or financial situation.”
Our biggest change since diagnosis: “So far is being isolated from loved ones. It is easy to get down in these situations, especially since you are alone so much of the time.”
What has helped you the most get through treatment: “God. 💛 Our family, friends, & community have really physically carried us through the past few months. I had to stop working to stay home and we just wouldn’t have made it without their help.”
When doing these interviews, the answers from the parents always seem to rock my world a little bit. They’re real, raw, truthful answers and they’re speaking from a place that none of us (unless you have a child with cancer) can relate to. I can’t explain the feeling I get when talking to the parents and really taking it all in. Honestly, a lot of my emotion ends up being anger because WHY?! Why did this beautiful, perfect little boy, at 3 years old, get diagnosed with cancer? He’s already had 32 treatments and still has 2 years 7 months left! WHAT?! He gets diagnosed at 3 and doesn’t finish treatment until he’s 6? Thats not fair.
If you follow Fourth and Gold, you know my mission is to raise awareness for childhood cancer and to find a more humane cure. A cure that doesn’t leave life long side effects. A cure that doesn’t almost kill (or kill) kids in the process of getting rid of cancer. A cure that doesn’t leave kids losing their identity.
It took me over 20 years to find my mission in life, but I found it. And I’ll work like crazy until I complete it. I believe with all of your love and support, Michael, and kids like him, won’t have to suffer any longer. That a cancer diagnosis won’t mean what it means today. That his childhood won’t be stolen and that his parents won’t have to quit jobs, lose friends and even lose themselves, while caring for Wildman.
I ask that you join us on our quest to find a cure for childhood cancer. The government only provides childhood cancer research 4% of all research funds. There are so many ways to help! Shopping with us, we donate 50% of ALL proceeds to childhood cancer research foundations. You can also donate directly to them, we use CURE Childhood Cancer, Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and St Baldrick’s Foundation.
#MoreThan4 #NotRare #FindACure