In that moment, our lives forever changed…
Caleb was just 5 years old on that dreadful day, February 6, 2014. He had always been an extremely healthy, active, energetic, and happy little boy. Out of nowhere, things suddenly changed and Caleb’s energy had faded. I had taken him to the doctor a couple of times in January of that year because something just didn’t seem right, however these visits ended in “keep an eye on him and let us know if things don’t change in a week”. Another doctor visit in early February led to the doctor ordering a blood draw, thinking that we’d be able to confirm a “simple” mono diagnosis. We arrived home less than an hour later, and I received a phone call a few moments after we stepped into our home stating “Ms. Eide, we believe your son has leukemia. We need you to come to the ER immediately; they are expecting you”. In that moment, our lives forever changed.
Caleb spent the next 2 ½ years sleeping months and months at a time in the hospital, hundreds of bone marrow biopsies and spinal taps with anesthesia, hundreds of blood and platelet transfusions, hundreds of needle pokes, hundreds of dressing changes, hundreds of chemo treatments, a lifetime maximum dose of total body radiation, a bone marrow transplant, flying ½ way across the country where he was willing to try 7 different clinical trials….. all because of his huge passion to live and drive to survive. Despite his positive attitude and his ambition to try whatever treatment options were available, Caleb gained his angel wings on July 29, 2016.
Caleb was such a kind person. Despite everything he was going through, Caleb donated several gifts at Christmas time to make sure all children had a gift to open. Caleb always thought of others. The hospital always had bingo one night per week; Caleb would always make sure to bring back a prize for the children that were too sick to make it, even if it meant he didn’t get a prize for himself. Caleb had a great sense of humor, and gave several doctors a good laugh on April Fool’s Day one year when he baked mashed potato & raisin cookies, trying to make them look like chocolate chip cookies.
Caleb loved all sports, and his love for them started as an infant. I remember when he was just 6 months old, we would roll a ball across the floor and he would laugh uncontrollably. He was kicking small footballs through make-shift goal posts in the house by age 1 or 2. He loved playing basketball or baseball with his friends and neighbors and golf with his family. He nailed snowboarding after his first attempt and also loved to hit up the bowling alley. He was naturally gifted with just about anything he tried. Caleb deserved so much more in life; he deserved the chance to share these talents with the world.
Caleb is deeply missed more than words can describe. The only way I know how to now honor his life is through our Caleb Eide Memorial Foundation, where we will raise money for other families going through a difficult time. Feel free to like our Caleb Eide Memorial Foundation Facebook page for future fundraising events. I believe if we take the time to listen to our hearts about things that bother us in the world and make the decision to do something rather than just feel bad about it, we can make life so much better for others and for ourselves. So that’s what the Caleb Eide Memorial Foundation is all about, trying to make something good out of something bad…. After all, what more can we do?
Thank you all for your continued support. I am deeply honored, because you see, “He’s not just anyone, he’s my son”.
Written credits: Crystal Eide (Mother of Caleb)