Meet Pierce: 2022 Family Advocacy Day Champion
Pierce is participating in Speak Now for Kids Family Advocacy Day from June 12-14. Through this event, Pierce and his family will discuss his health journey, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles’ role in providing him with necessary health care services, and why the public and our elected officials must invest in the future of patients like Pierce.
In April 2017, when Pierce was almost two years old, he started experiencing a low-grade fever. When he did not respond to antibiotics, his parents decided to admit him to their local hospital for lab work. The results of the lab work were concerning, and they were directed to Children's Hospital Los Angeles for a possible diagnosis of leukemia/lymphoma.
The specialists at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles diagnosed Pierce with acute myeloid leukemia, a cancer of the blood and bone marrow.
“There is no preparation for what that day brought. A cancer diagnosis is a trauma stressor,” says Aubrey, Pierce’s mother. “Not just to the child, but the entire family.”
Pierce’s youngest sister was four and a half weeks old, and his oldest sister was five. “We lived at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles while Pierce was being treated for cancer,” says Aubrey. “My mother helped support us and take care of my newborn daughter. My husband supported our oldest daughter and maintained work somehow. I went on long term disability for a year to care for Pierce.”
In total, Pierce went through two rounds of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant with a total of 19 surgeries, 31 platelet transfusions and 16 blood transfusions.
“Pierce’s strength and resilience are amazing,” says Aubrey. “Our family is truly grateful for the care Pierce received at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. They saved my son’s life.”
Pierce is now seven years old and thriving. He still checks in regularly with his specialists at the hospital to monitor his health, but this July will mark five years in remission. He is finishing up life as a first grader and is excited to start second grade in the fall. In his spare time, he enjoys playing baseball and pickle ball.