Parker County Today December 2017 - Page 77

A ble to laugh about it these days, 35-year-old Wesley “Wes” White says getting cancer was both the worst and best thing that ever happened to him. Through his battle with AML Leukemia, he met the love of his life. His journey through terror to health and love began in 2013 with a stomach pain. “I went to a sketchy gas station to get a breakfast burri- to and there was something hard in it which ended up, by the grace of God, saving my life,” he said. “It perforated my colon and I had a CT scan [done], which is what led them to find the cancer. Actually, I was stubborn and it took me about four or five days to go see my doctor — just kept dealing with it — and when I went to see him he said I needed a CT scan. I went down there and 45 minutes later they told me to get to the hospital.” At 30 years old, he heard the word everyone dreads: cancer. “They said, ‘Hey, you’ve got a hole in your gut and you’ve got leukemia,’” Wes said, adding that the prognosis was about four months to live without interven- tion. The effect of those words, Wes said, was indescrib- able. He desperately needed a stem cell transplant and was fortunate enough to receive a cutting-edge procedure. “I got a stem cell transplant that less than 1 percent of the population has ever gotten; there are five of us in the world,” he said. Within the same timeframe, another 30-year-old, April Ingram, experienced an intense pain in her leg. It was the day after Valentine’s Day 2013. Upon visiting the ER, she too heard devastating words: “It looks like leukemia,” the doctor said. The disease (ALL Lymphoma Leukemia) was advanced and aggressive and she needed immediate treat- ment. “For a year things had been going wrong,” she recalled. “So I knew something was not right. I was going to the gym and started falling behind because I was very tired and extremely short of breath. The whole year I’d been going to every single kind of doctor, every single body part doctor you can go to.” “We both ended up at Harris Hospital in Fort Worth on the seventh floor — still didn’t know each other — getting treatment at the same time,” Wes recalled. “They were trying to get my stomach under control and fix the hole and treat me for cancer as well, which was making it really difficult to do.” But the chemo “blasts” failed and both Wes and April were sent to Baylor Sammons Cancer Center in Dallas, ending up just rooms apart. Top docs brought their cancers under control so they could undergo stem cell transplants. “When we finally got let out of the hospital I went back for some treatment and noticed her in the waiting room,” said Wes. “I thought she was pretty then.” A year later, Wes was asked to speak about his “wave-of-the-future” transplant at the Leukemia Society’s Survivors Ball at Baylor. Again their paths crossed. He noticed April exiting an elevator and during the program saw her sitting in the audience front and center. “I just kept making eye contact with her and thinking ‘man, that girl is pretty!’ So, when I’d finished speaking White’s Funeral Home Our family serving your family since 1908 Full Service Funeral Home • Cremation Services • Pre-Need Plans Azle • Springtown • Mineral Wells • Weatherford • 817-596-4811 • Kari Drake, Andy Browning, Anita White, Ken Corzine, Bob White, Richard Woodman, Jillian Johnston, Bruce Duncan, Robert Sheffield 75