Eckville’s Scrapping With Cancer kid, Brody Chapman, has come to the end of a long, hard road — and he’s now hoping to journey in a better direction.
The 14-year-old, who gained national attention for his ongoing campaign to send free scrapbooking kits to any child with cancer, is no longer receiving chemotherapy treatments for the leukemia he’s been battling for three years.
His mother, Carmen Chapman, said doctors decided last month that Brody’s bone marrow is too “tired” and his blood counts were not recovering as they should. “Near the end, the waters were a little shaky,” said Carmen, who had to take her son back to Edmonton for some blood transfusions.
Physicians, who will be examining Brody this week, are hoping his leukemia will stay in remission without the chemotherapy.
If it doesn’t, the teen’s only other option will be a bone marrow transplant, said Carmen — who’s hoping for the best. “We’ll deal with it if we can’t get it under control.”
She said Brody seems to be doing well since his last chemo treatment in mid-August. He even wiped out on his bike recently, ending up in the emergency room with road rash. “It was nice to rush him to hospital for something that wasn’t life-threatening.”
Carmen believes Brody is happy to be off the difficult drugs. When he finished his last chemo treatment, Brody was asked what he wants to do now, and responded “Have a party!”
His parents are making his wish come true by planning a thank-you party for everybody who’s helped the family these last three years.
The Chapmans are grateful to Brody’s Eckville doctor and many members of the local community, his oncology team at Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton, the Kids With Cancer Society, and those who lent ongoing support through Brody’s website and Facebook group.
They are also thankful to former Edmonton Eskimos player Tom Wilkinson, who often dropped in to sit with Brody during his chemo treatments, and to the Children’s Wish Foundation, which granted Brody’s wish to meet Duane “Dog” Chapman, the Bounty Hunter.
Carmen said her son now calls Chapman, who is no relation, “Uncle Dog.” The TV star has become a lifelong friend, who calls Brody often.
The Bounty Hunter has praised the Eckville teenager for thinking of others at a time when many would be consumed by their own health problems.
Carmen said her son has touched the lives of thousands of people around the world through his scrapbook campaign. “From the beginning, he took a devastating diagnosis, turned it around to bring joy, laughter and hope to others who are fighting this disease. He chose . . . to help heal the spirit, which is just as important as finding a cure for cancer.”
The party will be held on Saturday, Oct. 9, from 1-5 p.m. at the Eckville Community Centre. There will be a luncheon, as well as games, prizes, music, dancing, and a silent auction to benefit the non-profit Scrapping With Cancer campaign.
“It’s our way of saying thank you to everyone . . . we hope (they) will join us for a magical day.”