My name is Chad Gordon. I am the proud father of a 10-year-old boy named Mayze, a huge sports fanatic and avid baseball card collector. I am also the proud father of the most beautiful two-year-old girl named Adley, a sassy, energetic girl who loves to sing, dance and lights up the room when she walks in. Our family is held together by my amazing wife, Kira. She is a registered nurse in the emergency room at Chambersburg Hospital. I am the Sales Manager of Twigg Cycles in Hagerstown, Maryland, where I have been employed for eleven years.
On February 10, 2022, two weeks before Adley's 2nd birthday, our lives changed forever. We had noticed a difference in Adley's behavior. She was lethargic, had no appetite, was very pale and always wanted held. After blood work at the pediatrician and some long hours, doctors told us to go to Penn State Health Children's Hospital as soon as possible. At the hospital, we received the news that no parent ever wants to hear: "Mr. and Mrs. Gordon, your daughter has cancer."
The news crushed me and Kira. We had no idea what would happen next, or how we were going to make it day to day. I felt like our mornings, nights and all hours in between were filled with tears, hugs and uncertainty. We knew we had to stay strong for each other, Mayze, and of course, our baby girl, Adley.So Adley has cancer, now what?
Adley's official diagnosis was B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-cell ALL), a common cancer among children ages 1-10. Adley would then endure her first of many procedures, the installation of her port. We convinced Adley that this port is for her "robot juice" and she learned to love it. While in the hospital, we were flooded with love and support from many individuals and organizations. We were in for a long journey, but we knew we were not alone.
Unfortunately, with a cancer diagnosis routines change, plans get cancelled and there is a great deal of uncertainty. Kira took off work for the next five months to be with Adley while I continued to work and provide financially for our family. Mayze was taking all of the changes very hard. He missed the alone time with me, was struggling at school and with his emotions. Not a day went by that we didn't break down and cry, but we had to keep moving forward.
I-81 became all too familiar to us, as we traveled up and down the interstate 2-3 times per week for clinic visits and procedures. This took a toll on our family financially. Thankfully, we were introduced to Four Diamonds. Four Diamonds provided gas cards and food vouchers for us on a weekly basis. This is a lifesaver, especially with gas prices at well over $4.00 per gallon for most of Adley's treatment, plus the lack of Kira's income. But, the gas cards and food vouchers are just the tip of the iceberg. Four Diamonds makes sure that we never see a bill for Adley’s cancer treatment. This allows us to focus on our family and Adley's health.
With all the changes in our lives, one thing has stayed the same: the love and support we get from our entire medical team at the Children's Hospital, our local community, friends, family, employers, organizations and even strangers from all over the country. Adley is lucky to have all these people in her corner. When we feel like we are too weak to keep fighting, these individuals step up to the plate and continue pushing, praying and assisting us with our everyday challenges.
Twigg Cycles knew that Four Diamonds was a lifesaver for our family and how thankful I was to have to have an employer that provided flexibility and understanding. Twigg Cycles held a fundraiser by selling raffle tickets for a youth ATV at each of their bike nights throughout the summer, which brings in hundreds of motorcycle enthusiasts from all over. We also held bake sales to raise funds for Four Diamonds. The support from the power sports community was amazing and with all the generous donations, raffle ticket sales and bake sale proceeds, we raised $10,000 for Four Diamonds! We could not have done this without the amazing community, the Twigg Cycles Family and the support from Four Diamonds, especially Hannah Woodward.
With Adley now in "Interim Maintenance 2," we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. We even have an end-of-treatment date, May 16, 2024! Until that day we will keep living, loving, laughing and fighting with all of our hearts. Adley will do big things with her life and our family will grow from this experience. The Gordon Family is excited for this adventure to come to an end so we can start a new journey of helping other families and kids going through childhood cancer because NOBODY FIGHTS ALONE!