Valdosta Daily Times

Breaking News:

Local News

September 8, 2013

Child deals with the stress of cancer

VALDOSTA — Behind the adorable smile of a seemingly energetic 5-year-old named Addison “Addie” Seacrist lies a troubling world that few can imagine. For the past year of her life, Addie has been fighting an unimaginable battle with leukemia.

In August 2012, the Seacrists were given the devastating news that their daughter has Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). As if that news wasn’t challenging enough, they were later informed that she has a specific chromosomal abnormality known as Philadelphia chromosome. This rare abnormality makes it even more challenging for her to achieve remission.

Her first year of treatment was not an easy one.

Steroid-induced diabetes, port infection, and medication-induced insomnia are just a few of the side effects from her leukemia treatments.

“She went from tiaras and tea parties to living in a hospital,” says Jason Seacrist, Addie’s father.

The challenging first year was made easier by the actions of Wolfson Children’s Hospital in Jacksonville, Fla., which is where Addie spent much of her time. The staff all dressed up and sang Justin Bieber songs to the young patient during a particularly challenging week. The hospital later gave her tickets so she could see the pop star perform live, which is an experience young Addie won’t soon forget.

Entering the second year of treatment has brought some welcome changes for the family. Their trips to Jacksonville are less frequent. She is enrolled at Sallas Mahone Elementary School as a kindergartener with her twin sister, Emma, a feat that would not have been possible without the help of Brookfield Academy, which helped Addie get ready for a kindergarten curriculum. While she has missed quite a few days due to illness and medical-related trips, the school has been accommodating to her needs and Addie enjoys being a student.

The medical complications and treatments have been excruciating on both Addie and her family members, but they are also dealing with the emotional effects.

Due to these experiences, Addie visits with a therapist to cope with the emotional stress of her medical condition. Her twin, Emma, also attends therapy sessions. While Emma does not have leukemia, she has stood alongside her family during this time and carries the burden of watching her twin’s life be affected by such a serious medical condition. It’s hard to imagine 5-year-olds having to battle such issues as post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety problems when they should be focused on making friends and playing dress-up, but it’s a common side effect associated with childhood cancer patients.

Through the generosity of Valdosta and its residents, Addie and Emma have both been given many positive experiences to help deal with the stress of their lives. While living in a small rental home during the early stages of her treatment, Kim McGhee of KB Horse Camp in Hahira brought horses over for the girls to ride around their tiny front yard. Numerous fundraisers have also been held in Addie’s honor both locally and in other states such as Texas and West Virginia.

“Valdosta has been unbelievable in its support,” says Jason Seacrist, “One of our goals is to pay it forward.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 140417-Rail_Plan-001.jpg State Transportation seeks public input on rail plan

    The Georgia Department of Transportation held public meetings across the state this week to discuss its 2014 Georgia State Rail Plan.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140417-valdosta_appr#10C8BA.jpg Officials serve lunch to city employees

    The City of Valdosta hosted its annual employee appreciation luncheon Thursday at John W. Saunders Memorial Park.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140417-Wiregrass003.jpg Wiregrass learns through play

    For three years, Wiregrass Georgia Technical College has hosted its Wired Up! event to engage students, faculty and staff in a fun but educational activity day.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • rain.jpg More spills? Valdosta braces for more rain

    In the past four weeks, Valdosta has experienced four major rain events that dumped more than three to four inches of rain on the area per incident.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140117-Scott_SGMAC-001.jpg Moody in running for Afghan pilot mission

    Moody Air Force Base is one of three military bases being considered for a temporary mission to train Afghan pilots next year, Rep. Austin Scott told the South Georgia Military Affairs Council Thursday.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • City: Most overflows stopped

    The City of Valdosta reported Wednesday evening that all manhole overflows resulting from Tuesday’s heavy rains had stopped, with the exception of two.

    April 17, 2014

  • 140416-gov_deal002.jpg Signed into law

    Gov. Nathan Deal went on a signing tour Wednesday across Georgia, flying into the Valdosta Regional Airport to sign three bills into law.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • 2 charged in N.C. kidnapping

    Two more people were charged in the kidnapping of a North Carolina prosecutor’s father, bringing the number to at least eight people who authorities say were involved in the elaborate plot.

    April 17, 2014

  • VSU opens spring senior art show Saturday

    Several graduating art seniors will present their show this weekend at Valdosta State University.

    April 17, 2014

  • 140415-water003.jpg Sewage problems persist

    Early Tuesday morning, Valdosta became saturated when the area received approximately three inches of rain from 4 a.m. to noon. As of 3 p.m. Tuesday, 11 manholes throughout the City of Valdosta have spilled 286,500 gallons of wastewater into local waterways, and this number will continue to rise.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

Top News
Poll

What you think about school and workplace rules about Facebook friends?

There have to be rules.
No need for rules, just use common sense.
If people want to be friends, what is the big deal?
Nobody uses Facebook anymore.
     View Results