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Illness doesn’t slow down Dresden boy

Illness doesn’t slow down Dresden boy
Illness doesn't slow down Dresden boy | Creed Melton, Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis

Creed Melton, the son of Denver and Josh Melton of Dresden, suffers a rare blood disorder called Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis (LCH), a rare blood disease. According to this mother, the cancer is so rare that no funding is designated for it’s study.
Creed Melton will celebrate his third birthday in August. Like many two year olds, he’s learned to love Spongebob Squarepants, swimming and John Deere. Unlike many children his age, however, he has been learning to live and deal with a very rare illness that has yet to have a cure. On April 30 of this year, it was determined after several tests that Melton has Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis (LCH), a rare blood disease affecting only one out of every 200,000 people. “The cause is unknown and the cells basically think they’re fighting an infection, but they’re not. They’re just deteriorating,” Denver Melton, Creed’s mother, explained. “He’d been having ear infections and on his third antibiotic, the pediatrician referred us to an ENT thinking he needed tubes in his ears. The ENT ordered some cat scans and they found a hole in his skull that looked, to us, as big as a golf ball.” Melton now takes chemotherapy treatments despite the fact that he doesn’t have cancer. He makes a weekly trip to Vanderbilt Hospital on Mondays and completed his eighth week of chemo in what the doctors said would be a six-month treatment period. Because his disease is so rare, he is also part of a study being jointly performed by many Tennessee hospitals including St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and the reports are being sent to Texas. In addition to the chemo, Melton must now take steroids. “They cause him to be moody and eat a lot, but that’s really it,” Denver Melton admitted. “Before, he’d complain of his ear hurting him, but he never had the rash or the painful lump that usually shows up in people with LCH. This disease is so rare that the government doesn’t provide funding for research.” “They’re still not sure of the cause,” she added. “There was another boy, though, Caleb McClarin who lived in Martin and had the disease.” The Meltons have been keeping family, friends and other community members up to date with information via the Internet at www.caringbridge.org with the keyword creedmelton. Donation cans have been set up at several area businesses with Creed’s story posted on them. Additionally, friends have been holding benefits for the family. A benefit chicken dinner has been scheduled for next Saturday, July 12. Tickets have been pre-sold at Wal-Mart and E.W. James and can be purchased on the web site or on the day of the event for $8. Orders can be picked up from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Farm Bureau in Dresden. “We really appreciate the help,” Denver Melton stressed. “So many people have helped me and Josh whether it’s been financially or putting us on their prayer list at church. When Creed had a biopsy, four days later we were told it wasn’t cancer. For four days, though, we thought it was cancer. It was hard. The doctor just told us it was bad and he is being treated by cancer doctors.” Creed Melton will continue riding tractors with his granddad, swimming and attending Gingerbread Junction, though. He may be fighting a rare disease, but he’s fighting it was the love and support of an entire community by his side.

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