By Makenzie Atkins
Local 9-year-old Maddox Arno is fighting B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and his family of six looks to the community for support.
Maddox was diagnosed with leukemia when he was only 6 years old on May 18, 2019. In July of 2021, Maddox was starting to feel back pain after just finishing 27 months of chemotherapy a few months earlier. In September, the emergency room team found multiple compression fractures in his back and 10 days later he returned to the emergency room after a hard fall. It was then that he tested positive for COVID-19 and was admitted into St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital for pain control.
Later, in October of 2021, Maddox’s mom brought him back to oncology after noticing that he was having a hard time eating and walking. After testing, the doctors found that the cancer cells were back and four days later he was having surgery to have his port put back in. After testing his bone marrow, doctors told the family that 95 percent of Maddox’s bone marrow had cancer cells.
Soon, Maddox will go to Orlando to have a bone marrow transplant from his 12-year-old brother, Cooper, who is a 100 percent match to Maddox. He has had many different complications since being readmitted to the hospital, but he is fighting with the support of his friends and family.
Maddox’s mom, Candice Arno, told us that the most impactful way others can get involved in helping Maddox or other families like theirs is through donations.
“Finances are a huge way that helps families since parents are forced to stop working most of the time, especially when a child is this sick,” said Candice. “We currently live in a camper that we recently just purchased because rent is way too high that I cannot afford to get a place for my kids and I.”
The family held a fundraiser in early December 2021 at Latitudes Apollo. There was a silent auction and a 50/50 raffle, and the restaurant donated part of its sales to Maddox’s family. Maddox’s mom announced at the fundraiser that his doctors have now declared him in remission. The family appreciates the community’s support and hopes that with each day Maddox will continue to recover.
Donations can be made directly to Candice through the following ways: Cash App at $CandiceLeigh5, Venmo @CandiceLeigh5 (with the last four digits being 8167), Zelle or PayPal at firstname.lastname@example.org or through GoFundMe at https://gofund.me/09781cd6.