Noah, 6, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)

A Normal Boy Who’s Anything but Typical

After falling out of his bed one night three years ago, Noah hurt his wrist and the pain just never went away.  Normally very active, the then 2 1/2 –year-old Noah grew so weak that he could barely muster the strength to stand up by himself.

(2006) – Noah Ard doesn’t look sick. He doesn’t act sick either. Baseball, soccer and video games occupy regular time slots on Noah’s busy schedule.

In his kindergarten class, the athletic 6-year-old with twinkling blue eyes and spiked hair would be the last child pegged as a cancer survivor.

After falling out of his bed one night three years ago, Noah hurt his wrist and the pain just never went away.  Normally very active, the then 2 1/2 –year-old Noah grew so weak that he could barely muster the strength to stand up by himself.

“I monitored his wrist closely,” said his mom, Angela.  “But it just didn’t heal and then he got a fever and a stomachache and was tired all the time.  That’s when I decided to take Noah to our family pediatrician.”

After a whirlwind of events, including multiple trips to another hospital’s emergency room, the Ards followed their pediatricians’ advice and came to Texas Children’s Hospital.

“As a mom, you don’t want to believe that anything is wrong with your child, but you just know that something isn’t right,” said Angela.  “I had a difficult pregnancy with Noah and almost lost him, and I was scared that he might be taken away from us.”

Noah was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common form of cancer among children.  Sadly, Noah wasn’t the only member of the family diagnosed with pediatric cancer.  “Eighteen months before Noah was diagnosed, our niece found out that she had neuroblastoma,” she said.

Because my niece was treated at Texas Children’s Cancer Center®, I knew that we were at the right place and with the right treatment, and Noah was going to be OK,” she said. “God had his hands over our situation.”

A day after arriving at Texas Children’s, Noah began his first chemotherapy treatment with his parents and two older brothers, Shane and Dylan, by his side.

Then they received devastating news—their niece who battled neuroblastoma had passed away.

Angela reassured her worried boys that the same fate wouldn’t befall Noah.

“Noah was too young to remember anything that happened, but his brothers were, and I used to tell them that even though Noah was sick, the medicines he was taking were going to make him better someday,” she explained.

And they did. Today, Noah is in remission and is back to playing sports and is even learning sign language at school.

His brothers are happy to have the youngest family member healthy again.  “I’m glad Noah is doing better because now my mom lets us all play outside together,” said Dylan.

Still, Texas Children’s is never far from the family’s thoughts. “When I think of Texas Children’s Hospital I think of family—they’re an extended family,” said Angela.  “We couldn’t have made it without all of the friends we made there.”