Donovan

Five-year-old Donovan diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Stage IV cancer.

It started with a pain in Donovan’s stomach and a trip to the emergency room. The doctors thought he was constipated. Then in February, Donovan fell asleep and did not wake up for nearly 24 hours because of extreme exhaustion. The mother immediately brought her son to Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo where an X-ray of his stomach showed that he had intussusception — the sliding of one part of the bowel into another. The condition, said to be rare, is caused by part of the intestine being pulled inward into itself.

Most documented cases have occurred in children ages 6 months to 2 years. On Feb. 24, doctor’s performed emergency stomach surgery on Donovan and removed a cancerous tumor on his small intestine. “In the beginning, they were telling us it could be appendicitis or something like that,” said Donovan’s Mom, “We knew he was going to have surgery, but when they told us he had cancer, I thought he was going to die.”

Within a week of being diagnosed with lymphoma, the child began receiving aggressive chemotherapy at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. He spent nearly 14 weeks in the hospital receiving the treatment; he now receives chemotherapy every 21 days.

Since that time, Donovan has become astute in regard to the process of eliminating the disease. At just 5 years old, he can flush his own intravenous line. “He doesn’t even flinch or anything for the shots anymore,” his mother said. “He will tell you what chemo he is getting and what the side effects are. He will ask the nurses what drugs he is taking today, and then he will ask what will happen after taking them. He is just very smart.”

According to Mom, the odds are looking good for her son. A recent whole-body scan showed that Donovan is now in remission, or free of disease activity in his body. Doctors reportedly told the family that the boy won’t relapse because of how quickly he responded to chemotherapy.

Today, Donovan wears a couple of colored bracelets, each one representing a different cancer. He wears a green bracelet for the lymphoma he’s endured, but also dons an orange bracelet for his best friend, Madison, a 6-year-old with leukemia.

Donovan’s Reveal