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Nate is a smart kid who knows how to give the best hugs. When he’s not reading or doing math, he loves to learn about dinosaurs. He is also a big fan of the Avengers, favoring Spiderman and Hulk above all the rest. His fun spirit pairs with a caring heart. When people asked Nate about his greatest wish, all he wanted was for no more kids to have to fight cancer like him.
Nate’s cancer journey began in April with a fever that left him incredibly weak, but the symptoms grew worse with time. Soon, he started eating less and sleeping more while strange bruises appeared on his skin. A trip to the hospital became lifesaving when doctors realized his hemoglobin levels were dangerously low. From there, his diagnosis became clear: B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Nate was transported to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, where he would spend the next four months. In that time, Nate regained his strength until he was stable enough to switch over to an affiliate hospital closer to home in Missouri. While he is participating in a clinical trial with Dr. Hiroto Inaba, his treatment regimen requires chemotherapy, physical therapy and lumbar punctures. Recently, his doses of methotrexate and 6mp had to be raised, which has caused his blood counts to fluctuate rapidly. He also hasn't had an appetite and is losing weight because of it, and has since been put on an appetite stimulant. However, his parents say his attitude continues to be positive, and he's starting to act like a normal kid again.
In two years, Nate is scheduled to finish treatment, and his family is hopeful that he will grow up without ever letting cancer hold him back. Both Nate and his family dream of a future with easier treatment plans for children with cancer. One day, they hope to see cures for all kids.
Nate’s family is in awe of his heroism. Every day is a new challenge, and yet, Nate faces each one with a smile. When his mom, Lindley, is worried, he reassures her that everything will be okay. Even when Nate isn’t feeling well, he is a rock for his family.
Lindley would like to remind other families going through a difficult diagnosis that they are not alone. She believes that when it comes to your child, there are no dumb questions, and it is important to trust your gut. “If I hadn’t trusted my gut on April 4, I wouldn’t have my son today,” she says.
As Lindley’s family dreams of a cure for her son and all kids with cancer, they feel hopeful knowing that organizations like Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) are working to make that dream a reality. In the meantime, they appreciate that ALSF also devotes efforts towards safer treatment methods. As Nate’s journey goes on, his family is eager for the days beyond treatment, knowing he will reach his fullest potential.
Informated provided by Lindley Mueller, Nate's mom
Updated November 2021
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