WICHITA FALLS (KFDX / KJTL) – In September, Christ Academy student Sammy Issa was in the fight of a lifetime against Burkitt’s leukemia.
But just a few weeks ago, Issa emerged victorious and was cured of the disease.
Sammy Issa is your typical 10th grade student.
He enjoys spending time with friends and family and enjoys playing basketball and video games. But all that was interrupted when he developed back pain, bumps to the head and loss of sensation in his chin and was diagnosed with Burkitt leukemia in September.
His oncologist is fantastic, but he told us if we waited a few more days it would be incurable. It is awesome. This cancer can double in 24 hours, ”said Issa’s mother Carolyn.
From then on, he began chemotherapy at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth.
Since the chemo left Sammy sick after he got home, he had to be sent back by helicopter to cook from Wichita Falls. But Sammy’s parents say the scariest part was the neurotoxicity of chemotherapy.
“We were just falling asleep and he said, ‘That felt like that neurotoxicity.’ and I said ‘what?’ He said, “Well I just couldn’t, I was awake but I was asleep and I couldn’t wake up and so I said to him, ‘You’re okay. You’re okay. ‘ So that was it for him. But before me I just lay there worried for a long time, until I just started praying, ”Carolyn said.
Sammy’s grandmother prayed that Sammy would be cancer free on his 16th birthday and he was: celebrating his birthday with friends and family and also celebrating a victory over cancer.
‘He likes things. He is excited to go back to school. And to drive. He had to put that off a bit, ”said Carolyn.
“Making sure he eats healthy and that we want to take good care of him so that he can live a good and full life.”
The Issas say their faith and community support certainly helped the family get through this struggle together.
Texoma Auto Auction, where I work, there was a banner that read Pray, Sammy Strong. And they would pray for him before the auction started. I think that was the glue that held us together: this community here. It was great, ”said Sammy’s dad Mo.
Faith, Family, and Community: All factors that have helped Sammy and his family overcome cancer and hopefully help Sammy live a healthy and long life.
Sammy’s family also says he has started jogging and playing basketball again as he is regaining his stamina.