Imagine hearing your 3-year-old has two types of rare cancer.  It’s hard to comprehend … but that’s what one of our local families has faced.  One day, Kristi and Rob Butler’s son, Eli, was a giggling flash of red and black, flying through their Sioux Falls home in a Spiderman costume. The next, his temperature was soaring. Something wasn’t right. Eli was admitted to Sanford Children’s and eventually diagnosed with lymphoma. Shortly after, another diagnosis came. Leukemia. Before the Butlers could even process the news of a double diagnosis, Eli’s team had a plan in place to save his life.

Today, Eli is nearing the end of three years of chemotherapy. Looking back, what he remembers most isn’t being sick. Instead, it’s the toy rooms and scavenger hunts in the Castle of Care … games with the Child Life Specialists … even learning to peddle a bike for the first time through the ward, pulling his IV stand behind him.  “We can go across town and get everything we need right here in our own community because of the generosity of everybody,” said Eli’s dad, Rob. “Knowing that place is right there for our son and for anybody else's kid is just ...  it's a really nice feeling.”

Source: Sanford Children's