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A Renewed Outlook

Meet Dulie and Julian Dover. They are natives of Imperial County, and Dulie worked as a special education aide at the same elementary school she attended as a child in El Centro. She was also pursuing a degree in Nursing and ultimately a PHD to become a pharmacist.

However, all that changed last November. Her youngest child, Julian was diagnosed with ALL (acute lymphoblastic leukemia). ALL is a cancer of the white blood cells, the cells in the body that normally fight infections. Leukemia cells are abnormal cells that cannot do what normal blood cells do. The abnormal cells are immature white blood cells that cannot help the body fight infections.

Julian, a typical four year-old boy, suddenly began having problems a month prior to his diagnosis. He was flown by air ambulance from El Centro to Rady Children’s Hospital. He had an extremely low hemoglobin level. When he arrived in San Diego, the nurses were surprised at how “well” he was considering his blood level. He had no blood cells and no blood flowing. He has had several blood transfusions and plate transfusions.

Julian is a very smart, happy boy. He has remained in high spirits the past several months while in the hospital and receiving outpatient treatments. Julian loves the playroom at Ronald McDonald House (RMH). He also loves the playground and computer lab where he plays Webkins, and Nick Jr. and night. Dulie is grateful to be staying at the Ronald McDonald House. The RMH has allowed her to be steps away from her son. Her older daughter and mother have also been able to stay with her at on weekends and during the winter break. “One of the best things about the RMH is how the staff treats our family like family.”

Dulie also appreciates the volunteers and groups that provide dinner every night for the families. She said prior to this experience she had a pessimistic outlook on the world. This experience has changed her. She has a new view on people and their generosity to give.” “For example, we had the best Christmas ever since the kids were born. There were so many gifts.”

Julian has an encouraging prognosis and will be receiving treatment for the next three and a half years. Currently, he is staying at Ronald McDonald House while he receives chemotherapy four times a week

(Photography courtesy of Natural Light Photo Studio)