Wanda English Burnett - Editor
Left untreated the disease
is fatal within 60 days. A startling statement made by
April Borders brings the reality of the rare disease her son
David has into perspective.
As David Madison, 17, of Sunman, was attending classes as a
perfectly normal student at East Central, something was taking
place on the inside of him that would change his life forever.
He had developed Hemophagocytic Lympho Histiocytosis, a disease
that allows his white blood cells to come out in an immature
form and collect in his organs shutting them down. The disease
is fatal if it isnt treated in 60 days, according to Madisons
mother, April, who said it affects only one in a million. Thats
her boy, one in a million!
Madison starting getting sick in October of 2006 and began to
lose a substantial amount of weight. He was sleeping a
lot, noted his mother. She said he was first diagnosed
with acid reflux, but she knew something wasnt right because
he kept losing weight at a rapid pace.
Mrs. Borders told how her son finally couldnt get through
a whole day of school because he would be so weak. I knew
something wasnt right, I knew we needed help and quick,
she told the Osgood Journal. I wouldnt give up...I
had a gut instinct, she said.
The weekend of Thanksgiving Davids condition turned for
the worse and finally the Sunman family got the break they needed
with more than 100 doctors seeing David. They found out
he had HLH, which is rare in a teenager, it usually strikes
in babies. In December, right at the critical 60-day mark,
he was diagnosed, according to his mother. She said they definitely
believe in miracles.
Each week the Sunman mother and son make the trek to Riley Hospital
in Indianapolis for Davids chemotherapy treatments. He
is also on other medications and right now is not able to attend
school. However, a tutor does come to the house to help the
junior with his lessons. They (teachers at East Central)
are absolutely wonderful, noted Mrs. Borders.
A nurse comes in to care for David once a week and his mother
had to quit her job to be with him 24/7. I wouldnt
have it any other way, she noted, saying he needs her
Before David was stricken with HLH, he was very active at his
church, Sunman Community Church, where he was involved in the
youth group. The church family decided to put together a benefit
to help the family with medical expenses that are quickly mounting.
A benefit committee was formed with Buford Cooper as the chairperson
and the group quickly put together a benefit that will include
professional singing groups, a silent auction, a pastry auction,
and a great meal.
This Sunday, February 11, a benefit concert will be held at
the Sunman Elementary School from 1-5 p.m. Entertainment will
include groups such as the Woodsmen Quartet, The Faze, and Jimmy
Dooley. They have donated their time with all the proceeds
going to Davids family, noted Pastor Steffen. Many
businesses and individuals in the community have donated items
for the silent auction. If anyone is interested in giving for
the auction they can contact the church at 623-3135.
The pie and cake auction will be spectacular. We have
professional cooks in our church, laughed the pastor,
who said the ladies are whipping up some fantastic desserts
special for the auction.
There is also a fund set up at the FCN Bank at Sunman for those
who would like to donate, but cant attend the benefit.
It is marked the David Madison Fund (for medical expenses).
Mrs. Borders said her son is keeping such a positive attitude.
She said right now doctors are just trying to control the disease
and the possibility of a bone marrow transplant is in the future.
David has an amazing doctor, Terry Vik, she noted,
saying with prayers and a great doctor, she believes her son
will be able to enjoy things he once loved like going to his
youth group and being with animals. She is thankful for a caring
community, church and school, who have made their lives easier
with their care and most of all prayer. Prayers do make
a difference, she concluded.