Thursday morning Ike Bauer, a freshman football player for the McPherson Bullpups, was laying on the couch of his home in pain. Both of his Achilles tendons were hurting, and he was waiting on some x rays to find out more about why.
And while that pain is what has sidelined him from sports for the moment, it is the least of his worries. An active athlete whose first love is basketball, Bauer is in the middle of a fight with cancer.
“He was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia called A.L.L., in June of 2017,” “He has been in treatment for over two years now. He goes monthly. He has 12 more treatments to go … He is doing well, healthy. He was supposed to be playing football but he is struggling with Achilles tendon pain.”
His diagnosis came as a shock. Ike was getting sick — fevers, vomiting and other symptoms — after working out or playing in games of basketball. He would be fine 24 hours later. It was not known what was going on, but the family sought medical help.
Blood tests led to his diagnosis. Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia is the most common childhood cancer. It occurs when a bone marrow cell develops errors in its DNA.
Gloria Schroeder, who has helped organize the second Childhood Cancer Awareness Walk in McPHerson, scheduled for 6 p.m. Sept. 12 this year, knows this childhood cancer fight all too well.
A fight lost in her family is what kept her from organizing the walk in 2018.
“I lost my grandson to cancer, I could not do this,” Schroeder said. “... Kaden Schroder fought in and out of remission. It will be two years in December that he lost the battle to cancer.”
His was a four year battle, lost at the age of 12.
“It was a long hard fight,” Schroeder said.
That’s what is in store for the Bauer family. Treatment and post-treatment monitoring is expected to take about seven years. His treatment is expected to come to an end next year.
“We were a family that did what we wanted when we wanted, we had a lot of freedom,” Courtney said. “That stopped. For the first year he was treated every week in Wichita.”
The Bauer Family will share their story at the plaza at the end of the walk. The walk will start at Genisis Health Club in McPherson and end at the downtown plaza.
“The walk is important. It lets everyone be involved in the fight,” Courtney said. “Everyone wants to help and do something, and they are mostly helpless in most regards … It gets people talking and people can hear the stories.”
There is not a fund-rasing component to the walk — it is about awareness and remembering that the month of September. The evening will include first responders, American Legion Riders, the Love Chloe Foundation from Salina, a youth lemonade stand and a ceremony at the plaza.
The route will be festooned with photos of children from Kansas who are fighting cancer. And Kadin’s photo will be at the plaza.
“We want people to realize that kids get cancer, too; they fight just as hard — or harder — for their lives,” Schroeder said.