Young boy from north Alabama is battling Leukemia - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Young boy from north Alabama is battling Leukemia

SCOTTSBORO, AL (WAFF) -

As parents, we want our children to be happy and healthy. We don't want them to hurt, but sometimes there's nothing that can be done to stop it.

Like two parents who are joining their young son in a battle with a potentially deadly enemy.

Christopher Edwards is energetic, funny, intelligent, and just as cute as a button. But this 4-year-old from Scottsboro is also battling Leukemia.

Two years ago, his parents noticed some changes in his behavior.

"He would quit playing with toys. He'd lay around the house. His appetite changed tremendously," said his mother, Shawna.

He also experienced sore and swollen muscles and joints. His pediatrician thought it might be juvenile arthritis, but a blood test confirmed Leukemia, the most common childhood cancer.

"It crushed me. Took my voice and breath from me when I first found out," said Christopher's father, Dewayne.

"When you hear cancer, you automatically think death," continued Shawna.

Christopher was rushed to St. Jude Children's Hospital in Memphis for eight weeks of treatment.

They're now two years into a three year recovery program. Christopher goes for weekly treatments at the St. Jude Huntsville Clinic.

We've come a long way medically, as the survival rate for childhood Leukemia is now upwards of 80 percent. But, it's still a struggle.

Shawna is pregnant with their second child. She's working second shift at a factory from 3 to 11 at night, and Dewayne recently lost his job.

Horrible timing. He needs a job now more than ever.

"It's rough. It's like having the weight of the world on your shoulders cause it's like how can I do it all?" said Shawna.

They've shed a few tears, but they're careful not to do it in front of little Christopher. His mother got choked up a bit during our chat, and he quickly jumped up beside her and started crying.

He still hasn't asked any questions about his sickness, so they haven't brought it up. They just continue to do their best, lean on their faith and push on.

"As long as you keep your family together, you'll pull through anything," said Dewayne.

Christopher and his family have a strong support group at their church.

We'll take you there next time as we follow this family's journey toward the ultimate goal, the day he's declared cancer free.

For more information on childhood Leukemia click here.

Copyright WAFF 2011. All rights reserved.

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