Arda’s story: Our son’s courageous battle and triumph over childhood leukemia

Arda’s story: Our son’s courageous battle and triumph over childhood leukemia


When Arda was just 7 years old, he faced the toughest fight of his life – childhood leukemia. In Jan of 2015, his parents, Erge and Dan, received the news that their son had a rare form of biphenotypic leukemia.

“Arda began showing strange symptoms in the fall of 2014,” Erge said. “He had swollen lymph nodes around his neck that kept growing. We sent him to an ENT who noticed Arda’s lymph nodes were not just swollen around his neck, but his armpits, knees and groin. Arda’s ENT referred us to a pediatric oncologist. She immediately sent us to Texas Children’s Hospital. Shortly thereafter, we were introduced to our son’s hematologist-oncologist, Dr. ZoAnn Dreyer, at TCH’s Cancer Center. She changed everything for us.”

He had exceptional doctors, like Dr. Dreyer, and amazing nurses who quickly became his friends. One special friend he met on the unit, a volunteer named David Hay, who helped patients build origami. To this day, we keep in touch with David who is part of our extended family. He was there when Arda rang the end-of-treatment bell.”

Today, Arda is cancer-free. He still sees Dr. Dreyer, who is the clinical director of the Long-Term Survivor Program at the Cancer Center, regularly. “We were grateful for those who helped our family, especially since we have three other children who needed us,” Erge said. “For those patient families impacted by cancer, it is important to take care of yourself and to take this journey one day at a time.

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