By Alan Gionet
MEAD, Colo. (CBS4)– Mac Rogers looks pretty sharp in a bowtie. Four years old and his mom Brittny believes he has been through so much.
“He’s had to become so mature. It’s as normal a life as we can give him.”
Mac has lives with cancer most of his young life. First it was leukemia. He beat that. Now he has cancer again, but it’s an entirely different type. Doctors aren’t sure why.
So this morning we offered a few words of support to Mac and his family. It’s part of the discussion we’re having about how cancer effects people and families as I take part in No Shave November. I’ve learned something new every day.
Mac was only eight months old when he was first hit with leukemia. He remembers a lot for a little boy his mother says. Brittny and her husband have two children, Mac and his little brother Bo. They have another on the way. Their life is one of getting Mac the treatments he needs and taking in all the lessons learned that have gone along with his cancers. Mac is so young he doesn’t understand his effect on people.
“Imagine if you were an adult and people were saying the things they’re saying about him,” said Brittny about how people say they are inspired by Mac and his resilience. “When you hear those things as a parent, it makes you strong and able to be strong for Mac.”
He was just a baby when they discovered acute myeloid leukemia. The treatments were rough, but successful. There’s no sign of that cancer anymore. For a while, Mac lived free of cancer like a little boy should. Then there was a new discovery in May of 2016. Brain cancer. There were two tumors. Doctors think they got all of one, but could not remove all of another.
The family had just moved from Northern Colorado to Utah. So they ended up coming back often while Jeremy started a new job. They’ve been back and forth ever since.
“It’s insane,” said Brittny. “I’m so used to packing up suitcases and going here and going there.”
Mac is just a boy. He loves cars and he and Bo play and think about cars a lot. He had to learn to walk again after his treatment and was quite unsteady for a while. But he likes to wrestle and jump on the trampoline.
“I think one of the hardest parts for him is that he likes to play outside,” said his mother.
But the chemotherapy makes his skin hypersensitive to the sun. Even a car trip can bother his skin.
The family has developed their own theme: “Give Cancer A SMAC” with the spelling based off Mac’s name.
“He’s a good helper,” said Brittny about Mac’s life around the house. But that’s not all. “I wish he knew how many people say Mac’s an inspiration.” Maybe all of Colorado.
Here’s a link to the family’s GoFundMe page for Mac: https://www.gofundme.com/teammac
Alan is raising money and awareness about cancer this month. Here’s his No Shave November page: https://no-shave.org/member/agionet