Ten years ago this week, WRAL News shared the story of a pair of brothers in Fayetteville who had both been diagnosed with aggressive forms of cancer – one was 6, the other 4 years old.
Although one in five children diagnosed with cancer does not survive, Collin and Patrick Henry have a happy ending. They’re not so little or so sick anymore.
Where once there were chipmunk cheeks and chemotherapy, they are now typical teenagers.
Collin is 14 and chatty.
“It kind of sucked because it took some of our life and it was like … eh … but then we got to experience that,” he said.
Patrick is 16, with a fondness for one-word answers.
Their cancer is long in remission, but the aftereffects rear up now and again. Collin had bleeding in the brain, which triggered behavioral issues. Patrick had lesions form on his spine.
“But they are alive, and we are thankful for that,” their mother Kathleen Henry said. “We also know there will be things medically for them for the rest of their lives.”
Trips to the doctor are frequent, and while the pandemic is going on, the boys do their schooling from home.
For Kathleen Henry, the hardest part is thinking back on the torment her boys went through.
“It really haunts my dreams,” she said. “I have nightmares about it.”
Robert Henry, Collin and Patrick’s dad, retired from the Army. The family now lives in Saint Louis.