Colton Hunt is an exuberant six year old from Denver, Colorado who endured open-heart surgery when he was an infant and has been battling Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) for the past two and a half years. All of that has not slowed him down or prevented him from sharing his positive spirit and enthusiasm for life with anyone he meets – just watch this video and see for yourself!
First diagnosed with leukemia a few days after his third birthday, Colton endured intense chemotherapy and numerous hospital stays at Children’s Hospital of Colorado. A year ago, he was declared cancer free and in remission and enjoyed a summer full of normal activities. He started kindergarten last fall, where he won the hearts of his teachers and kept up with his peers. Seven months later, a routine follow-up test showed that the cancer had returned–more aggressive than before. Doctors in Denver referred the family to the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a treatment using an investigational drug that binds to a protein on ALL cells that aims to target and kill cancer cells.
Colton and his mother, Kim stayed at The Inn for nine weeks, while Colton’s father, Brad traveled back and forth from Denver. The Hunts are owner-operators of Powerhouse gym in Denver and it was difficult to keep their business going while they were at the NIH.
“The Inn allowed us to keep Colton occupied, keep our sanity, and fight this battle as a family,” says Kim. “Colton just wants to be a kid. If he’s okay, we’re okay—it helps us to see him happy.”
Although the chemotherapy has proven to be effective, Colton is set to undergo a transplant back home that will replace bone marrow that has been destroyed by chemotherapy and to regenerate the immune system. He will need to stay at Children’s Hospital of Colorado for several weeks post-transplant.