Hi, my name is Quade Marks. I am 10 years old and in the fourth grade. I love to snowboard, play the guitar, lacrosse and football. I am a blood cancer survivor, here is my story.
In April 2016, I just wrapped up 18 weeks on a competitive snowboard team and started playing spring lacrosse on my team of five years. My parents noticed that I had a lot of bruises on my arms and legs but didn’t think much about it because I’m an active kid and for me, bruises were normal.
On April 15, 2016, I went to the school nurse because my hand was swollen and I had weird rash. The nurse called my mom and soon I visited my pediatrician who took a complete blood count. When they got the results back that night, my pediatrician said I had to go straight to the emergency room because my platelets were so low. Later that night, I met my oncologist and he said I likely had leukemia. The next day, I had my first of many bone marrow biopsies, which confirmed I had acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Usually I don't fear anything but hearing that I had cancer was very scary.
After spending 161 nights in the hospital, undergoing four rounds of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant, I am now cancer free! Thanks to my amazing medical team and the support of my family, lots of friends, and many people I didn't even know.
I am now back snowboarding and doing many of the same things I was doing before I was diagnosed with cancer. While I was sick, I learned how important it is to stay positive and focus on helping others. There is no way to thank everyone who helped me so I pay it forward by fundraising for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, which supports patients and families battling blood cancers and funds important research for therapies that save thousands of lives every day - like mine!
It is so cool to be chosen as the Honored Hero for the 2017 Rocky Mountain Light the Night walk. I had supported the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and had attended Light the Night through my mom’s work before I was diagnosed with cancer. Soon after I was diagnosed, the team at LLS visited me at the hospital and I started fundraising from my hospital room. My goal was to raise $4,000 and thanks to the generous donations from so many people, including many bake sales and lemonade stands held by my friends and classmates, I raised over $20,000! This year I want to raise even more and to continue to spread the news that by working together we can hopefully soon live in a world without blood cancers. Peace Out!