From the moment he was born, Colston Roposh was healthy. So when he suddenly started walking with a limp at just over a year old, his mother, Kayla, knew something was wrong.
At first, the family thought he had hyperextended his leg, causing damage to a ligament or tendon. A visit to the pediatrician even confirmed that. But when he continued to have problems walking and then suddenly stopped walking, Kayla knew the problem was serious. “The doctor sent us to a specialist who put a full cast on his leg and said he should start walking within a couple of weeks, but he never did,” Kayla said. “Then, Colston woke up early one morning and just started screaming. It wasn’t at all a normal cry, and there was no consoling him. Nothing would calm him down.”
Kayla rushed Colston to the pediatrician’s office where he had lab work done. “The labs didn’t come back great,” she said. When another round of lab work the following day also didn’t look good, the pediatrician sent them to the local hospital in Dothan for further testing. Doctors there told them Colston needed to go to Children’s of Alabama’s oncology unit as quickly as possible.
“Children’s sent an ambulance to come pick us up and get us there that very night,” Kayla said. “We tried to be positive that it was just a precaution since there was no official diagnosis, but I just knew the news we were about to get.” That news came just a few hours later: Colston had leukemia. “The doctors came in the room, sat down with us and immediately laid out the plan,” Kayla said. “Though it’s certainly not a situation you ever want to find your child in, the doctors answered all of our questions and gave us the information we needed to help Colston move forward the best way possible.”
The plan was for Colston to start chemotherapy immediately and get him into remission within 28 days. It worked. Colston then continued chemotherapy for three years to stay in remission. During that time, the family regularly traveled to Children’s from their home in Dothan until Colston came off chemo July 5, 2021, when he was almost 5 years old. “He always handled it so well,” Kayla said. “The first couple years of treatment, he spent practically every major holiday at Children’s, whether it was sick or getting platelets and blood transfusions. But he’s always kept a big smile on his face.”
Colston is still cancer-free as he approaches his 7th birthday. He continues to visit Children’s for routine checkups, which he’ll have to do every three to six months for another few years, when he will hopefully transition to yearly visits to the Children’s Taking on Life After Cancer (TLC) clinic. In the meantime, he’s back to focusing on soccer, T-ball and reaching his goal of becoming a Power Ranger when he grows up. “God and the staff at Children’s are why my son is with me today,” Kayla said. “Children’s took care of my son and our family, and not just for Colston’s treatment. They provided us with the personal and emotional care that’s needed as well. Their ability to make you feel like you’re not just another patient is valuable and truly helps with the healing process.”