TYLER, TX - When 7-month-old Sawyer was taken to the pediatrician his parents didn't know he wouldn't be coming home. Instead, he spent the next 3 months in the hospital.
Sawyer was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, the treatment plan for it takes 2 1/2 years.
Mother of 9, Heather Rucker, says it was hard, and it took a toll on the family. That was the reason she started the Gold Network.
"It's just an opportunity for these families to come alongside one another and realize they are not in this alone."
The Gold Network raises funds for local families, and brings them together, supporting each other.
She says many East Texas families travel to Dallas, Fort Worth, and even Houston to receive treatment for their child.
Heather spent most of that first year in the hospital in Dallas while her husband stayed at home with the kids. It was hard to be separated during holidays and events.
"I've missed birthdays, we were in the hospital for two Christmases. It's been quite a journey." Heather says.
It's a journey her son survived. In January 2017 Sawyer's cancer went into remission after hundreds of shots, infusions, spinal taps, and bone marrow biopsies.
Even though Sawyer is in remission he still travels to Dallas for blood work every 4 weeks. It's something he will have to monitor for the rest of his life.
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