Brock - Putnam Sentinel
Brock pictured with his mother, Christa (Meyer) Meader. (Photo submitted)

PUTNAM COUNTY — Before March 7, 2018, Brock Meader was a typical happy, healthy, fun-loving six year old. He enjoyed spending his time outdoors playing in the dirt or cutting sticks on the property of his new home. Then on a Wednesday in March, everything came to a crashing halt.

Brock’s mom, Christa, had taken him to the doctor because all of his lymph nodes were swollen. They ruled out various illnesses and upon discovering that his spleen was also enlarged, they recommended taking Brock to the Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, immediately.

Late that night they received the news they were hoping they would not hear. Brock had cancer. He was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive form of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Treatment began the next day.

During the week that followed he spent his time in between chemo treatments showing his family around the hospital floor, painting, cracking jokes, playing video games and watching his favorite movies. For the most part he still felt like that normal kid. The gravity of what was happening to him really hadn’t sunk in for him and his family.

On March 13, reality hit. Brock’s parents and grandparents attended a class on how to care for him once he left the hospital. There was no longer going to be any playing outside, fishing, cutting sticks and spending time with friends. Due to his chemo treatments, his immune system wouldn’t be able to handle the amount of pollen and germs in the air. His family had to understand that for the better part of the next six months, Brock was going to spend his time indoors, alone.

So far Brock’s cancer has responded well to the first round of chemo treatments. He had a mass on his airway that was restricting his breathing and preventing the doctors from performing a bone marrow biopsy and putting in his chest port (for administering chemo). They were afraid that if they put him under, the mass would cause him to stop breathing. After a week of chemo, that mass appeared almost non-existent on his x-rays and his breathing improved dramatically.

Upon going home, where Brock has to live in a clean and sterile environment, he and his family are taking it one day at a time. This brave six year old opted to shave his head so that losing his hair wouldn’t be so traumatic. He’s also unable to go to school so he has a tutor that comes to see him twice a week to keep him from falling behind.

Brock’s grandmothers rotate weeks taking care of him while his parents work. He has been on a regiment of steroids to beef him up before his next round of chemo. This makes him eat at all hours of the day and night and causes terrible mood swings. But still in there is that compassionate, loving little boy who just wants to talk with his favorite cousin. Thankfully there’s technology and he can Skype with Harper whenever he wants.

On April 5, Brock completed a milestone. He successfully completed his first round of chemo treatments and the cancer responded well.

The next month though is going to be rough for Brock and his family. He has finished the steroids and will start an aggressive treatment of chemo, including multiple spinal taps. His immune system will be so low he won’t be able to have contact with anyone outside of his clean environment. He is going to get very sick and he’s going to need multiple blood transfusions due to his white blood cell count getting so low.

Please keep Brock and his family in your thoughts and prayers in the coming months and years. He is the son of Brian and Christa (Meyer) Meader, and the grandson of Gordon and Jackie Meyer of Bluffton/Vaughnsville. He is the great grandson of the late Paul and Rosie Miller of Columbus Grove.

Statistically, it takes three to five years to fight this cancer into remission. Though the prognosis for ALL is good for kids Brock’s age, he still has a long road of fighting ahead of him.

You can support Brock in many ways. There is a chicken dinner fundraiser at Tommy’s Place in Columbus Grove on April 28, 2018 from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Carry-out will be available. To purchase tickets to the dinner or to donate an item for the auction, please contact Jacqueline Meyer at 419.615.5672 by Monday, April 23.

You can donate to the GoFundMe page set up in Brock’s name to help cover his medical expenses. Visit this webpage to see updates about Brock or to donate: www.GoFundMe.com/Breaking-The-Bank-For-Brock.

You can also send a card or a note wishing him well. He loves opening the mail to read the kind things people are saying to him. If you’d like to send him something through the mail, you can contact his grandmother Jacqueline for his address. Jlmeyer79@ymail.com or 419.615.5672.