Deborah Schwartz is a mom who was going about her life like so many of us do. She worked part time, shuttled the kids from here to there, and found a balance that allowed her to live life just the way she had wanted. It all came to a quick halt the day she received a call from her son’s school that has forever changed her and her family’s life. Deborah shares her incredibly touching story with us.

By Deborah Schwartz – It was February 8, 2013, almost a year ago, but it feels like just yesterday. I was leaving the supermarket when a call came in from my son’s school; it was 10:30am. It was already snowing hard as I got in my car; the Northeast was bracing for a blizzard.

The school nurse called to let to me know that my 5-year old son Eli’s gym teacher noticed his neck was quite swollen, and that I should come get him and bring him to his doctor right away. I drove straight to school with a car full of food and snacks to stock the house for what I thought would be a few fun days playing in the snow and hanging out inside.

When I got to school I found Eli looking somewhat unsure about the concern he was sensing from the school nurse. My heart started to race. His neck looked like a linebackers. How could I not have noticed? I called my daughter to the school office and called ahead en route to our pediatrician.

With the snow getting heavier outside, the doctor’s office was quiet. We went immediately into a room and in came the doctor. She looked, felt his neck, did a strep test, asked Eli how he was feeling and then left the room for a minute. She came back in with the senior doctor in the practice, which is never a good sign. The senior doctor examined Eli and a serious look washed over her face. I began to feel the panic set in.

The doctors asked me if I could please come with them into the other room, as the kids waited for a minute. She thought it might be cancer. “Excuse me, but what did you say?” A chill went through my body. They called ahead to Yale New Haven for us, telling them to expect us within a few hours. I was in a daze, going through the motions, I had no idea what was happening, but off we went.

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