|Toddler will serve as honorary chair at Delphos Relay|
|Friday, May 30, 2014 8:00 PM|
dhi MEDIA Staff Writer
DELPHOS — Addison Eickholt acts like a normal 3-year-old. She plays with her toys, wants to play outside in the sun, doesn’t really want to start preschool next year and loves fruit snacks.
The only difference between Addison and any other toddler is a scar and why she has it. The scar is the result of a surgery to remove a cancerous tumor.
Last year in April, when Addison was 2 years-old, her mom, Angela Eickholt, found the lump.
“I was scratching her belly and when she turned over I found it on her back, so it was a fluke,” Eickholt said.
Eickholt describes Addison as a tomboy and thought she may have fallen or bumped into something as a result of her rambunctious behavior. After the lump did not disappear or change the next couple of days, Eickholt knew Addison needed to go to the doctor.
The doctor brought in another doctor and then sent Addison to immediately have blood work done.
“We got a phone call at 7:00 that night, which we knew wasn’t a good thing,” Eickholt said.
Addison had Wilms’ Tumor, a kidney cancer that primarily affects children.
In May 2013, she had surgery to remove it, which was followed by weekly chemotherapy treatments through October.
Eickholt said seeing her daughter go through treatments and surgery was emotional to deal with as a parent but Addison really kept everyone else strong. Not long after surgery, Addison was back up and playing with her older sister, Avery.
“She did wonderful through it all,” Eickholt said. “She was never sick and still played all the time. She did cry when she had to go to the doctor’s [office] and all she really says about it is ‘I don’t want to go there.’”
In July, her hair started falling out so Eickholt decided it was time to cut it.
“It didn’t phase her. She had about a dozen headbands to wear. Now when you try to put her hair up you’d think you were murdering her just trying to comb through it,” Eickholt laughed.
Addison decided to cut her Rapunzel doll’s hair and showed it to her mom and said, “Now she looks like me.”
Now, Addison’s hair has started growing back and she has follow-up visits to check for any signs of cancer just every three months.
Still, any time someone wakes Addison up early in the morning, she thinks it’s time to go to the doctor and she cries. And when she experiences something new for the first time, she gets scared.
“She’s apprehensive about new situations because she’s been poked and prodded so many times,” Eickholt said. “We just have to explain to her what is happening before we do something new and that helps.”
Addison will start preschool in the fall and Eickholt has already started preparing her for the new experience.
Addison understands she will have to go to school to learn, but like many 3-year-olds, she would rather stay at home and play.
The support from other family members and the community helped more than Eickholt could have ever expected. She said that even $20 gas cards from family and friends were a godsend after having to drive to Columbus weekly.
“We would have driven there as much as we had to because that’s where we felt like she was getting the best treatment,” Eickholt said. “A $20 gift card helps more than you’d ever know.”
The Relay for Life gives the family a chance to see all the support behind Addison. This year, she will serve as the Children’s Honorary Chair for the Delphos Relay for Life on June 20-21 at the Community Track and she gets to help carry the banner during the Survivor’s Lap.
“She’s excited about it,” Eickholt said. “When we told what she’s going to do, she’s like, ‘Where’s my banner?’ She thought she got to do it right then.”
Everything looks good and clear now. Addison’s next check up is in July and then again in three months. Then she will go to every six months.
“We would go for check ups as many times as they want us to just for that reassurance,” Eickholt said. “If that’s what it takes, we’ll do it.”