Clint and Mia Nelson are celebrating the day they feared would never come.
Their son Luke will start kindergarten at Central Elementary on Wednesday.
A new school year is a big deal for all kids, but for Luke, who just one year ago was in the fight of his life, it’s nothing short of a miracle.
Luke was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in April 2016 after a mass was found in his stomach.
For the next year, he underwent a series of tests, treatments, surgery and a stem cell transplant. The doctors gave the family little hope of survival.
“They initially told us he wouldn’t live a year and would never make it to kindergarten,” Mia said.
Luke’s treatments ended in August 2017, and since then he has had scans every three months.
His latest round took place last Thursday. The next day Luke’s oncologist called to say there are still no signs of cancer.
“She told us that to have made it a year without relapse is incredible and doesn’t happen often for this type and staging of cancer,” Mia said. “What he has gone through physically, emotionally and mentally these last two years blows our minds, especially when we see his happy attitude and how he daily thanks God for keeping his ‘icky stuff’ away.
“This is just a God thing.”
Luke’s scans will now take place every six months.
But for now the family just wants to savor the moment and celebrate the traditions that come with the start of a new school year.
His Spiderman backpack and lunchbox are ready and he has already met his new teacher, Mrs. Watkins.
“He is excited to learn how to read,” Mia said. “And he is really looking forward to playing with all the other kids.”