WESTERVILLE, Ohio (WCMH) – A central Ohio family is celebrating the milestones of their son’s battle with cancer through special “beads of courage.”
Blake Wuersig receives a different colored bead every time he undergoes a treatment, and now, his parents are grateful that his collection is finally complete.
“I want him to remember his story and know how brave he is and what he overcame, so I thought this would be a good way to look back and show him what he did,” said Blake’s mother Jenn Wuersin.
With a beaming smile and a playful giggle, Blake runs around the house like any energetic four-year-old, but just after his first birthday, Jenn and Jay Wuersig noticed bruises on his body and knew something wasn’t right.
“Our older kids had been in for silly, random thing, one had RSV and one had an infection, so we were kind of like, ‘Here we go again with a third one, what’s his thing?’” Jenn Wuersig said.
Doctors diagnosed Blake with leukemia.
“I don’t know, even know if we knew enough to be scared right away,” Jenn Wuersig said. “We just heard ‘cancer’ and that was scary.”
Blake started chemotherapy immediately. A port was placed in his chest and daily medication became part of his treatment plan.
“His medicine makes him, like, have a metal taste in his mouth, so he wants to eat, but food doesn’t taste good, so he’s been living on plain waffles for three years,” Jenn Wuersig said.
As a family of five, Team Blake had to readjust daily routines due to his compromised immune system.
“We could get a cold and not even know we have it, and he gets a cold and he’s in the hospital fighting for his life,” Jenn Wuersig said.
So, with every treatment and every milestone, Blake earned a special bead of courage.
“He gets one for every brave thing he does, and we talk about what he did to earn it,” Jenn Wuersig said.
On Aug. 3, Blake received his favorite bead after his final dose of chemotherapy.
“The Ninja Turtle is when you achieved remission,” Jenn Wuersig said.
Now that Blake has courageously beaten cancer, the Wuersig family feels so grateful for the support of their Westerville community.
“We looked at each other that night in the ER and we were like, ‘There’s no way we can do this, I’m going to have to quit my job, we’re going to have to sell our house,’ and then our community just lifted us up and really did this for us,” Jenn Wuersig said. “We took it one day at a time, but they held us up underneath.”
Jenn Wuersig said neighbors would clean her house and a coworker dropped off groceries every Sunday for two years.
Now Blake will finally be able to attend pre-school and get back to joining his older brother and sister at going to special events like visiting the pumpkin patch this fall.