In persons with ALL, lymphoblasts are overproduced in the bone marrow and continuously multiply, causing damage by inhibiting the production of normal cells, such as cells in the bone marrow and spreading to other organs. ALL is most common in childhood with a peak incidence at 2-5 years of age, and another peak later in life.
The interest in Ryker by citizens of the community and from friends, who are concerned and have supported him and his family in his fight, prompted this update on his condition and his continual battle with ALL.
We are pleased to find out that after the latest bone marrow check no signs of cancer cells were detected. Yet, even though there is no sign of cancer cells, Ryker's treatment will continue over the next three years to keep the illness at bay and to fight against the cancer cells that may be there that are possibly undetected.
"It is a wonderful finding," said Ryker's mother, Allison.
Though she understands that things will continue for a period of time, and for Ryker, who initially looked to get back to school by Christmas, he may have to wait a little bit longer, possibly next spring.
"Ryker continues to be in great spirits. He is not attending school at this time but we are looking forward to having some "social visits" this fall to help him connect with his new classmates and teacher at Kalama Elementary. We are working on his First Grade skills at home; (keeping open) communication with is classroom teacher and hospital school at Randall Children's Hospital. Due to set backs in his treatment and reaching remission, Ryker will most likely return to school around April," stated Allison.
" We have now entered into Phase II, referred to as interim maintenance. Timed from the start of interim maintenance the fight will continue for the next three years. The finding of "no residual cancer cells," doesn't stop or change treatment at this point, but it does show us that the fight we are giving is working," stated Allison.
Ryker continues to be in great spirits enduring this battle and his current treatment which includes nightly chemo pills, a three day stay with IV chemo every other week and a clinic visit.
"He does have some side-effects with the treatment."
With an outpouring of support from the community, in which one local student ran an online auction with proceeds going to the family, Allison gives an update for people who still wish to contribute to Ryker's cause or the fight against ALL.
"We are no longer making contributions towards St. Baldricks. Instead would like to make contributions to our local organizations that support children fighting cancer such as Children's Cancer Association, Candlelighters and Randall Children's Hospital. These are organizations that have done a variety of things that have brought a smile to Ryker and our family as well as the families we are surrounded with at Randall Children's hospital. Activities such as sporting events, special luncheons at the hospital during treatment, prizes for the tough treatment days to pass the time and as a reward for being so brave, toys and games for the game rooms."