Childhood Cancer Heroes

You are here

Connor Whaley

  • Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)

Click the images to see them larger above!

Learn more about
Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)

Get the facts about Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) and how our research projects are making a difference.

Learn More »

The best words to describe 4-year-old Connor are funny, goofy and loving. He can make anyone laugh without even trying. His favorite things are tractors, dinosaurs and superheroes. He is naturally strong and resilient, especially as he’s fighting cancer. 

In February of 2021, Connor was going to multiple doctor visits for seemingly unrelated issues. He didn’t want to eat, had trouble sleeping and was very irritable. He then started having intermittent fevers as high as 104.5 degrees, yet all his tests would come back negative. His parents were stumped, but after three weeks of symptoms, on March 12, they requested bloodwork. They were told multiple times it wasn’t necessary, but they kept pushing, and it was good they did. Within a half hour of bloodwork, they were told to pack a bag and get to Nationwide Hospital as soon as possible. Bloodwork, plus a bone marrow biopsy, confirmed their son, Connor, had B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.  

After an initial 10-day hospital stay, Connor and his family have traveled to Nationwide for treatment anywhere from four times a week, to once a month. Currently, Connor is in the maintenance part of treatment, which includes daily and weekly at-home chemotherapy, in-person port chemo and a spinal tap plus chemo every three months. Since diagnosis, Connor has received nine blood and platelet transfusions, 15 spinal taps and more chemo doses than they can keep track of. 

At the age of 4, Connor has so much life experience already. He is his family’s hero because he has taken on every challenge with a smile. Although cancer is all he’s ever known, he remains a happy and positive child. His parents are told all the time that if you didn’t know he had cancer, you would never know by looking at him. Their biggest hope is for him to have a long and happy life, side-effect free. Normalcy is all they hope for. 

Sarah, Connor’s mom, shared some words of comfort for other families who may be facing a childhood cancer diagnosis. "It gets easier, and it’s okay to not be okay,” she said. “We take it one day at a time… however, sometimes we take it one hour at a time or even one minute at a time. Lean on those around you for support. Surrounding your child with positivity is one of the most productive things you can do for your child’s treatment.” 

For Connor’s family, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation gives them hope that other families won’t have to go through this journey. Reading Alex’s story inspired them to fundraise and participate in The Million Mile virtual race to support all kids experiencing a diagnosis, just like Connor. 

“I’m a big, strong guy.” - Connor, 5 days after being diagnosed with leukemia 

Information provided by Sarah W., Connor’s mom 
Updated September 2022 

Donate in Honor of Connor Today!

Your donation helps to fund critically-needed research to find better treatments and cures for children with cancer.

Childhood Cancer Heroes

More Heroes

VIEW ALL HEROES
Lincoln is a silly and insightful kid who loves LEGOs, superheroes and playing with his puppy. In 2017, he began throwing up randomly which led to the discovery of a large brain tumor. At 3 years old, Lincoln began treatment with an emergency surgery.
Julie is a spunky 9-year-old girl who loves all living things. In 2021, Julie developed symptoms that stumped her doctors. After many doctors visits and testing, Julie was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Today she is still fighting for her cure.
Max is a creative 6-year-old who loves to use his imagination. When he was 3 years old, he started getting unexpected nosebleeds and knee pains. After several misdiagnoses, his family took him for blood work where they finally discovered he had leukemia.
Kadi loves expressing herself in artistic ways. In 2019, she began having lower leg pain where a tumor was soon discovered. She was then diagnosed with osteosarcoma and began treatment that same day. Today, Kadi is still waiting for her cure.
VIEW ALL HEROES