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Mother writes story of son's battle with cancer
One of the most difficult experiences a parent can ever go through is watching their child suffer from a disease. News 5's Dennis Kellogg spends "A Day in the Heartland" with one Hastings woman who is trying to turn that experience into a way to help others.
"Chad was a very outgoing child. He was not shy."
Chad Green's mom, Dianna Meyer, took her son to the hospital after his fever spiked one night. Eventually, blood tests would reveal Chad had leukemia.
"It's really a feeling of overwhelming disbelief and shock. When we walked out of the doctor's office we just sobbed, uncontrollably. I just really don't know how my husband saw to drive home," said Meyer.
Diana and her husband moved from Nebraska to Massachusetts, where doctors began to treat Chad. Eventually, they decided treating the cancer with drugs was too much for Chad and against their doctor's advice, they stopped chemotherapy treatments.
"All I can say as to why we decided not to go along with what the doctor suggested was coming from a vantage point of reading about the drugs, what they could accomplish, but also all the negative things they could do," Meyer said.
The case attracted national attention. The state took custody of Chad and the battle eventually went to court, where the judge ruled against the parents.
"The ruling was so harsh that we felt we had no option but to leave the country. A friend helped us. We disguised ourselves as best we could. We left from a neighboring airport in another state," said Meyer.
The family went to Mexico, treating Chad with a combination of alternative therapies and some chemotherapy. They would eventually end the chemotherapy again.
"Chad really did very well on the joint treatment and I think if we would have just left that the way it was, he would have done better," Meyer said.
After less than a year in Mexico, Chad passed away. That was 1979. More than a quarter of a century later, Diana is able to use Chad's life and death to reach out to others.
"I want to encourage people that are going through similar situations and I also want to warn people that are going through similar situations," said Meyer.
The way Dianna chose to do that was by writing a book. "Chad's Triumph" tells the story of her son's short life – and his death. It's also filled with her own life lessons, reflecting on the decisions she made decades ago.
"Having to reflect on that over the years, I don't espouse anybody doing anything like that," said Meyer. "Do everything you can for the sick person at home, but don't negate any of your medical treatment."
Words from a mother who knows the pain of watching her child suffer. They are words she's now able to put down on paper.
"Like most mothers I have found memories of a precious little blonde–haired boy, in many ways like other boys, but in some special ways, he was quite different," Meyer said.
That's "Chad's Triumph."
If you'd like to learn more about or order Diana's book "Chad's Triumph," visit http://www.amazon.com/Chads-Triumph-Story-Life-Green/dp/160247091X
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