It was Slade's swollen stomach that the doctor noticed... A few days before his visit to the walk-in clinic, Slade's ear began to ache. Emily, his mom, knew a quick prescription of antibiotics would help ease the pain of her six year old's possible ear infection. Yet the doctor's attention remained on Slade's stomach, instead of his ear.
"We'll need to do further testing," he said.
The blood results came in, an ambulance transported Slade to the hospital, and the doctors diagnosed him with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. For the next three years, Slade spent his days in and out of the hospital, receiving treatment that would ultimately save his life.
While still undergoing chemotherapy, Make-A-Wish® Alabama was contacted about Slade. When his wish granters met with him, it was his love of marine life and adventure that ultimately determined his one, true heartfelt wish-to go to Atlantis with his family!
After months of anticipation and planning, Slade, his parents, and both of his little sisters journeyed to Atlantis. For Slade, the highlights of the trip were swimming with dolphins, parasailing, and playing on the beach with his sisters.
Emily says that Slade's wish had a positive impact on him, as well as the entire family: "The chemotherapy made Slade's body weak. He wanted to run around outside and play, but he couldn't. I can't explain how tough it was to see my son endure such pain and fear. The trip to Atlantis was such a perfect ending to his battle with ALL. Make-A-Wish has given us the chance to start a new chapter in our family. We worry less and laugh more."