02/05/2015 9:54 PM
Our friend Colton Hunt needs support from Rhino Country! A dear friend of one of players, Colton was diagnosed with Leukemia on his third birthday. In addition to Down syndrome and Leukemia, he has faced many health challenges in his first few years of life. Because his condition requires expensive treatment, the Rhinos have joined Team Colton in a fundraising effort. Help Colton by donating here or simply sharing his story.
The following statement, written by his family, can be found here.
Heroes are defined by the obstacles they face, the pain they endure and most importantly the grace and strength they exhibit when faced with terrors most only encounter in their worst nightmares, Colton James Hunt is one such hero. Born to a life of adversity, Colton embodies the strength, courage and spirit of a true Hero.
Colton was born with Down syndrome in the fall of 2008, a fact that hasn’t slowed him down for a second, nor prevented him from sharing his positivity and enthusiasm for life with the world. At 7 months old Colton was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect requiring open heart surgery. He took this challenge in stride, recovering faster than expected, smiling and laughing along the way. With Colton fully recovered we rejoiced and settled into the comfort of having survived what we thought would be the most serious health issue Colton would ever have to face. Unfortunately, the challenge was just beginning. On his third birthday he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
Over the next two and a half years he endured intense chemotherapy, bi-monthly procedures, and numerous hospital stays. These years were full of many trying days, but you would never even know he was sick based on his happy demeanor and smile. In the heroic fashion we had come to expect from Colton he took on cancer with gusto, defying the odds and showing every indication of success. On March, 18th, 2014 he was officially declared cancer free and in remission. Again, with a sigh of relief, we relaxed into the knowledge that less than 2% of children will relapse and have to continue the battle. He had a summer full of normal activities that five year olds enjoy. He started Kindergarten and won the hearts of his teachers and kept up with his peers. He showed the world he was unstoppable. Once again we were heartbroken when, seven months later, at a routine follow up with his doctors tests indicated that the cancer had returned. On his sixth birthday it was confirmed. The cancer was back and more aggressive than before.
On October 27th his journey began again. Currently Colton is two thirds of the way through an extremely aggressive course of chemotherapy, after which he will potentially have two options. One, being the more traditional treatment, a bone marrow transplant. At this point it does not appear that Colton will be a strong candidate for this procedure based on his response to the current treatment. The alternative, a new and promising treatment being offered at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is CAR T-Cell therapy. We feel this option gives Colton the greatest chance of successfully beating cancer. His participation in this treatment may help advance cancer research and give hope to other families in the future. We are hopeful for Colton to qualify for this experimental treatment which has shown promising results for several patients in similar situations. However because the treatment is still considered experimental it will not be covered by insurance.
Unfortunately Colton's condition is time sensitive and the total cost of treatment is unknown. Both options will be costly and require extended time away from work. If CAR T-cell therapy is the answer it will require extensive travel to and from Philadelphia.
Colton has brought so much love, happiness, and joy to not only to his family, but to the lives of everyone he encounters, and he has so much more to give. We believe Colton's purpose in this life goes beyond himself and his family. He has the potential to help change the lives of many. If we are successful in our fundraising efforts to meet or exceed the financial obligations, any money that remains will be donated to help further cancer research at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and Children's Hospital of Colorado.
We are reaching out to the world for any help you can afford to give, whether that comes in the form of a donation to help with medical bills or simply helping to get the word out to as many people as possible by sharing this page. Please help us help Colton spread his joy and strength for many years to come. No donation is too small. Our collective effort and awareness makes all the difference.
“Where there are great loves there are always miracles,” Willa Cather, American Author
Colton’s Loving Family