Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

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October 26, 2012

Just Luv 4 Jordan

Community shows support for Dechaume in his battle with acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Corsicana — Hubert and Amye Dechaume were busy with their jobs at Wal-Mart and parenting two active boys, ages 13 and 10, who both play multiple sports, when life suddenly threw them a curve.

Jordan Dechaume, a fifth grade student at Blooming Grove, woke one morning with a stomach ache, and told his mother it felt like someone punching him. He went outside with his dad and brother to build some fence, but found he couldn’t pick up the post hole digger, and doubled over in pain.

“I took him to the emergency room, where they did a couple of tests and ran X-rays on his chest,” Amye said. “They said he had acid reflux and sent him home with a prescription for  Zantac.”

The pain didn’t subside, though, and the following Monday Jordan was at Amye’s grandmother’s house when he began vomiting. Both parents left work and took him to Children’s Hospital in Dallas, where more X-rays were done and the prognosis was a pulled muscle in his back.

For two months, Jordan felt horrible and his parents took him to eight different doctors. After many tests, evaluations and referrals to other doctors, Dr. Bob Kingman ran a CT scan, and finally got a diagnosis.

“He saw multiple masses on Jordan’s bones,” Amye said. “Kingman said it was really weird, but since he didn’t know exactly what it was, they sent us back to Children’s.”

They went straight to Oncology at Children’s, and more tests were run, in addition to lots of blood work, and another CT scan, all in the first day.  This was in late September.

“They told us his blood work looked really good, but his CT scan showed that he had a form of cancer, but they didn’t know what type,” she said. “Due to his blood work and how good it looked, they at first thought he had a different kind of cancer that was not as aggressive.”

Doctors went in Jordan’s back, near his hip, and took a bone marrow sample, which revealed the next day that he has ALL Leukemia, (acute lymphoblastic leukemia). The Dechaumes were told to report to the hospital the next morning for procedures.

“They installed a port right under his rib cage on his side, and also did a spinal tap,” Amye said. “That was to make sure there were no leukemia cells anywhere else, that they’re just in his bones. They did find out he had several compression fractures going down his back, and his bones were very, very brittle — kind of like the leukemia was eating his bones.”

After a four-day stay at the hospital and a blood transfusion, Jordan was doing well and responding to his chemotherapy. He took chemo once weekly for a month, and will now have tests done to see if he’s in remission yet. He will continue having chemo once per week for a year, then it will be less frequent, such as once every two weeks, for two to three years as a preventive measure.

Amye’s best friend Audra Monger started a Facebook page, Just Luv 4 Jordan, which has been wildly popular and stunned even Jordan. Amye’s former Blooming Grove classmate Vicki Barber called immediately, having just been through this battle with Dylan, her son, though a different type of leukemia. They got together and while the boys had a great time laughing and watching movies and cutting up, Vicki filled Amye in on what she can expect at different stages.

There’s been a funnel cake fundraiser at a Blooming Grove football game, a pancake breakfast put on by the Blooming Grove Volunteer Fire Department, and a hamburger benefit done by Lonestar Cowboy Church. Grandmother Jamye Putman’s aunt and uncle put on a chili supper/auction, and her former boss Dr. Matthew Branch donated a rifle to be auctioned.

Schoolchildren from Dawson Elementary, where the boys formerly attended, as well as Blooming Grove, where they go now, were joined by Mildred Elementary School, where Jamye is the school nurse — to bring their Pennies for Jordan.

“The generosity of children ... the kids at Mildred don’t know Jordan,” Jamye said. “They give and give of their pennies and dollars and quarters, giving their ice cream money, the little ones are emptying their piggy banks. It is just wonderful to see that.

“You don’t realize how good people are until something like this happens ... then you’re overwhelmed with all the generosity and kindness. Just wonderful — we’re just speechless about it.”

Both boys have shown steers at the Navarro County Youth Expo with their 4-H club, older son Brindon Straw plays junior high football and basketball, while Jordan prefers basketball and his passion, baseball.

Jordan has begun to lose his hair, so his dad cut it very short. Hubert has promised to shave his head once Jordan’s hair is gone, and Amye went with a very short haircut just this week to show support for her son.

Jordan’s spirits are fairly good. He knows he has cancer and has to take treatments for a good while, but he looks forward to being well so he can go back to school and play dodgeball. There are things he wants to do, and knows he can’t do them for now. Since his disease was diagnosed early, doctors are very optimistic about him returning to full health.

“It has been so overwhelming, the love and support from all the communities — Corsicana, Dawson, Blooming Grove, even Mildred — they’ve all poured out so much love and support, it’s unbelievable,” Amye said. “Prayers, love and support — we need that to continue, even if it seems like he’s getting better. He is going to be in this battle for several years.

“Please continue to pray for him, and for us.”

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