Central Texas toddler rings the bell to mark the end of chemotherapy treatment

Published: Sep. 7, 2022 at 3:26 PM CDT
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TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) - A 2-year-old Central Texas boy who has spent the majority of his life in the hospital after being diagnosed with infant leukemia at 4-months-old rang the bell at McLane Children’s Hospital in Temple signifying the end of chemotherapy treatment and is busy returning to life as a playful toddler.

Alex Sanborn of Bruceville-Eddy was diagnosed with cancer when he was 4 months old at a regularly scheduled doctor’s appointment. He’s been fighting for his life since then, so for his mom, Lynn, and dad, Brian, to watch him ring the bell meant everything.

“It felt like, I don’t’ think I’ve ever had to put in words before, oddly enough, but we felt grateful,” Lynn said. “Our faith never wavered. We knew God had a plan and we needed to work through it. It was like my child being reborn again.”

Alex was diagnosed with infant leukemia the same day he went in for his four-month check-up in April 2020. Lynn said her son was experiencing fatigue, was easily bruising, and his skin was pale.

“We found out the very same day,” Lynn said. “The doctor noticed some obvious signs and, before she said anything, she ran some tests and we immediately got sent to the ER where the oncologist came in and shared the diagnosis with us.”

"We know he is definitely a true testament to God, and he definitely has a lot to live."
"We know he is definitely a true testament to God, and he definitely has a lot to live."(Courtesy Photo)

Alex was hospitalized and would spend another 168 days at the hospital, mostly consecutively, but occasionally getting to go home for a day or two at a time.

Alex added to his hospital stays over the last two years after catching sicknesses due to his weakened immune system from chemotherapy.

“On his first birthday, first Christmas, first New Year’s, we were in the hospital,” Lynn recalled.

Lynn said the family couldn’t have made it through the challenging last few years without the unwavering support of friends, family and the amazing medical staff from McLane Children’s.

“This little boy could have left us at least four times but he’s strong and he’s had the best doctors and nurses,” she said. “The outpouring of love that was given was unfathomable.”

Alex is considered in remission but will not be deemed cancer-free until he goes another eight years without relapse.

Lynn says Alex still has some lingering effects from the cancer and treatments but says for the most part, her son feels great and is enrolled in daycare, living life to the fullest.

“He’s healing and you couldn’t tell this little boy has ever gone through anything,” Lynn said. “He just has the sweetest spirit.”

“We know he is definitely a true testament to God, and he definitely has a lot to live.”

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