Brooks' Story

On December 28, 2009, Brooks Call was diagnosed with acute Myeloid leukemia (AML), also known as acute myelogenous leukemia. AML is a very aggressive cancer that starts in the bone marrow and keeps the blood cells from maturing the way they should. Brooks is 13 years old and is the son of Greg and Lisa Call. He has two younger brothers, Ethan and Nic.

Along with our prayers, well wishes, and positive thoughts for Brooks, what can we do to help Brooks and his family? Our goal is to allow all family and friends to assist Greg and Lisa with any funding we can donate for the many expenses that will be involved in keeping Brooks going strong. Not only would we like to contribute to help with the mounting medical bills, but also for gas, babysitting, food while staying with Brooks at the hospital, and many other expenses.

Please look at the "Please Help Brooks" section on how-to-donate. We have made it very easy for all family and friends to help out – where ever you are! Please donate, and pass along this notice to all of your family and friends. Have them go to this blog to find out more information on how to donate and get updates on Brooks!
Thanks, from all Brooks’ Family!

If you want to add a comment and don't have a Google account see the "How to add a comment" below.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

New blog site

We have a new blog site for Brooks. It is a hospital web site. I hope this link works. If not you can find him on carepages under his name. Thank you again for the support you are giving our family!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Home Stretch!!!!!

Talked to Greg yesterday and Brooks is on his last treatment just waiting for his immune system to build up so he can go home – For good.  After this round Brooks will start the monthly checkups and slowly reducing checkups over the next five years.  In other words Brooks is on the home stretch!!!!  

Way to go Brooks – Keep getting healthy!!!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Make A Wish

Brooks was able to go with his family to the Make A Wish room last night. I haven't talked to Lisa, but I did hear that it was really great! Brooks had some awesome wishes. His first wish was for a lion hunt in Africa...I love that wish! His second wish was to go on any hunting trip. I assume he said any really exciting hunting trip. His third wish was for a four-wheeler. I can't remember the name, but when I find out, I will let everyone know. What amazing wishes!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Brooks was finally able to come home today! Yeah for Brooks (and the rest of the fam)! This round was really difficult for everyone. We are so grateful that Brooks was able to be strong enough to come home today. Hopefully we can get some updated pictures posted soon. Thanks to everyone for your continued prayers and good thoughts. Stay healthy Brooks! We all love you!

Friday, April 23, 2010

It is 11:00 am and I just woke up. I'm just sitting here thinking about how lucky I am. Living here at the hospital isn't all bad. Brooks likes to stay up late at night because that's when he feels his best, so most nights we watch movies, read books or play games into the early morning hours. I miss my sleep but I'm so happy that I get to be spending this time with him. I get to hang out all day with my son. . . it's awesome!This last round has definitely been the hardest so far. Brooks is so tired and fragile. He sleeps most of the time. He started having fevers a few days ago and it turns out he has some form of staph. The antibiotics are working though and he is holding strong.The other morning about 5 am I woke up to Brooks listening to his iPod, Bob Marley,"don't worry about a thing, cuz every little thing is gonna be alright", was playing. I just can't help thinking about how precious life is, how everyday we have here is a miracle and how lucky we are to be alive. Brooks always talks about the things he is looking forward to, the things he wants to experience in life. Somethings are big but most are simple: hanging out with friends, playing with a dog, wrestling his brothers, going to school, swimming, hiking a mountain, riding his dirt bike, learning to snow ski, hunting, fishing, camping, boating, I'm sure once he is better he will never waste a day. I'm constantly reminded to live every minute to the fullest and enjoy the time we have together.

What Cancer Cannot do...It Cannot...Invade the Soul...Destroy Peace...Conquer the Spirit...Shatter Hope...Cripple Love...Corrode Faith...Silence Courage...Rob Eternal Life

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Bald boys

I feel like the past week has just flown by, and I haven't had time to give a lot of updates. Brooks went back into the hospital on Thursday, April 1st. He is just about finished with his chemo treatments. His last dose is tomorrow. He has been tired, but has stayed healthy,which is great. This round, some of the chemo medication is blue. Brooks thinks it is pretty cool. He has been spending most of his time putting together Legos (when he is awake). That kid LOVES Legos! He received a lot of cool gifts on Easter from the Easter Bunny. I think that several Easter Bunny's showed up that day to bring him gifts to cheer him up. We all love that he is able to stay at Primary Children's. It is such a great hospital and there are so many people who donate to help kids like Brooks lift their spirits! What a blessing!

Sunday, March 28, 2010 week early

This weekend has been great for Brooks and the whole family! Yesterday, he spent the day with his family and cousins at Grandpa and Grandma Palmer's. They had an Easter egg hunt and flew kites. It was so fun for everyone! Brooks even tried to play a little bit of "steal the flag" with all of the cousins. Today, he had an Easter celebration at Grandpa and Grandma Call's. He was super tired (probably from all of the running around on Saturday), but all was a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Home at last

Brooks was able to come home yesterday (March 22nd)!!! Yeah!!!! He should be home until next Friday as long as he keeps staying healthy. I don't think that Brooks has ever been as stir crazy as he was this round in the hospital. He was able to have a few visitors, which helped, but I know he prefers being at home and so do the rest of us. Yeah Brooks!

Special visitors

Brooks has been able to have some really friendly visitors while he has been in the hospital. This is a picture of one of the therapy dogs that Brooks likes to hang with. I think Brooks really likes this dog because it wants to cuddle and be held. I think the dog weighs more than Brooks! Brooks has done well the past few days. He started running a little fever yesterday, but his body was able to fight it off on its own, which is super cool! He is going a little stir crazy sitting in the hospital. Lisa and Greg were able to get the webcam to work so that Brooks could see and hear all of the craziness going on at home with Ethan and Nic. It has helped so much to have the webcam and the laptop! I honestly can't thank people enough for being so generous! It is such a blessing that Brooks is able to go to a hospital where so many people volunteer and bring in just a little bit of the outside world so that patients like Brooks can have a brighter day!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Luck O' The Irish...

Brooks has a sweet new hat, and even though he isn’t Irish…we are all hoping that a little bit o’ that Irish luck rubs off this week. Grandma Palmer is staying the weekend with him so Lisa can go home and be with Greg, Ethan and Nic. Brooks has put together so many Lego’s this round in the hospital that his room is starting to look like Lego Land. We are definitely going to need to post some pictures of the Lego mania in the room. Brooks slept a lot today. I am sure that his body needs the rest. He was able to eat a steak dinner tonight, so his stomach must be doing really well tonight. Happy St. Patrick’s Day Brooks!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

This is definitely a day that we will be happy to be done with. I don't know about this cancer thing. I wish it could be easier. . .The good news is that time seems to be passing quickly. I can't believe it's almost St. Patrick's day already. Hopefully we will blink our eyes and this will all be behind us. Brooks counts finally hit bottom today. I'm glad they're down but will be scared until they start building back. Can we just have a redo of last round? His skin biopsies came back negative. What a relief! Brooks is really missing his brothers and friends right now. He still continues to amaze me with his strength and maturity. I have always told him that he is strong willed and I am so glad that he is. Life right now is so surreal. It's hard to relate to things or think about things beyond surviving this. I'm just so grateful for all of you. We feel so blessed that we have you to lean on. Keep praying for us! We love you!


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Feelin' groovy

Lisa sent some pics of Brooks right before he went home after his 2nd round of chemo. They are great! I couldn't resist posting them.
: ) Love ya Brooks!

Monday, March 8, 2010

This round in the hospital has been a little harder on Brooks and the family. He misses his brothers so much and his brothers miss him. I don't think we say it nearly enough, but cancer really sucks! The doctors found a few spots on Brooks that looked like cancer, so they took some samples and they are waiting for the biopsy to come back. His blood is still looking good, no cancer cells, but the spots on his skin looked a little suspicious. We are still waiting for his counts to drop to zero. Brooks is such a strong kid! I know he hates what he is going through (I think HATE is an understatement), but he always looks at the positive experiences and the lessons he is learning. He is AMAZING! Love you Brooks! You are always in our prayers!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Brooks has been back in the hospital since Sunday. He is doing well and received his last dose of chemo today. Round 3 is officially over. We are waiting for his counts to hit zero. Hopefully he will do just as well as he did last time. He has been putting together lots of Legos and watching a whole lot of Discovery and History channel. He misses his brothers. They are coming up to visit him tomorrow night, and I know that all of the boys are looking forward to spending time together. Remember him in your thoughts and prayers. We love you Brooks!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

We have been home for ten days now. Yahoo! The hospital is so full and Brooks is doing so well that we have been allowed to stay home longer than we anticipated and it has been wonderful! Brooks took us all by surprise last round (doctors included) and recovered much more quickly than expected. He has been feeling so good. If he had hair, no one would know he is sick. The doctors called me this morning with news from his latest bone marrow biopsy and LP. . . No sign of cancer in the tests so far. I feel so blessed, things right now are going so well. I hope his strength continues. Tomorrow we go back to start round three.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Back Home

Brooks has been back home for a few days. He has done SO well! His counts increased quickly after chemo. He has loved being home again and spending time with his bros. He really didn't lose any more hair this go round, so he still has his long eyelashes and eyebrows (lookin' good for the ladies). As long as he doesn't get a fever, he will be at home. Yeah! Love you Brooks! Stay healthy!


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Uber War

Brooks has an amazing nurse who has been playing games with him. She taught Brooks and Lisa a super fun card game that Brooks calls UBER WAR! Any game with the name uber war has got to be the coolest game ever. Brooks has been running fevers this past week, which is scary. This afternoon his fever went away. His "good" cell counts have been rising a little bit the past 2 days. Lisa has told him that he just needs to tell his body to quit getting a fever so that he can go home soon. I think that sounds like a great plan!

The waiting game...

Brooks' second round of chemo was complete on Saturday, February 6th. Things have been going okay. Brooks did a good job of not getting too sick to his stomach. His counts dropped to zero yesterday, so he has no immune system. On Wednesday, they were showing Lisa an infection that Brooks has in his central line. They cleaned him as much as they could, and started him on some antibiotics to help clear up the infection. Because his body really doesn't protect him from anything, the medication to clean the central line burned his skin pretty bad. He still needs all of our prayers and good thoughts. Everyone is just sitting tight, waiting for him to start producing good blood cells...

We love you Brooks! Kia kaha!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

2 days left

Day 6 of chemotherapy. I don't want to jinx anything by saying this but Brooks hasn't been stomach sick at all yet. He has 8 days of chemo this round so only 2 days left! While he's on chemo they wake him up every one to two hours, so it will be nice to finally get a little sleep, well as much sleep as you can in a hospital. (The chair I get to sleep on is not quite like my intelli bed. Dang it!) Besides that, this hospital is so wonderful. I feel so lucky to be here. I mean, no one wants to be in a hospital but if you have to be in one, this is the place to be. We really like the staff. They are taking such good care of Brooks. -Lisa

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Kia Kaha

Back at the hospital. What are we doing here? It's like going back to a nightmare that I just thought I woke up from. At least that's how I feel today. The first thing the doctor said to me this morning was, "our first concern here is having Brooks respond to the chemo, (which he is), our second concern is keeping him alive while his ANC is low. We do loose kids from infections." I know the doc had good intentions but what?? It's really hard to stay positive around here, I don't need to be reminded about how serious this is. It's all that I think about. Every day we hear about what's happening to the other kids on the unit and hold our breath that Brooks can somehow avoid all of it. Last week Brooks watched the movie Forever Strong for the first time. He loved it. It reminded him of his brothers and what he is going through. Now whenever he gets scared he looks at me and says "Kia Kaha mom". So I guess today I should listen to him and remember . . . Kia kaha.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Brooks goes "Online"!!!!!!

Brooks got his laptop tonight and was having too much fun video conferencing with Grandma and Grandpa Call (Doc popped-in the video for a cameo too).  I am not sure who had more fun - Brooks or David and Claire :-)  
Thanks so much for the generous laptop donation from Mark and Sheri's friend in Washington.  This will lift his spirits as Brooks starts another month of hospitalization tomorrow.  Carson purchased a new WebCam for the laptop and we set Brooks up with a Window Live Messenger account (  This will help Brooks stay connected with family and friends.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Air Hugs

This is a picture of Syd and Brooks giving each other an air hug. There is no touching allowed because we all have lots of an air hug is as good as it gets!

My Bro

Today Brooks had surgery. Everything went really well and he is back home tonight. They needed to take some bone marrow to find out how much cancer is left in his body. He will be back in the hospital on Friday for round two...but we are so glad that he was able to spend some time at home with the family. Nic has loved having Brooks at home. Every night when it gets quiet around the house, Nic says, "Brooks, I am so glad that you are home." It is so sweet. Lisa has caught Nic watching Brooks while he sleeps. I imagine that Nic feels like he needs to be the big, strong protector of his older brother. How ironic that Nic was such a tiny little thing when he was born and he had to be protected, and now he is doing the same for Brooks. Seriously, brothers rock!

Head Shaving Party

All of the boys in the family have joined in and shaved their heads to support Brooks. There was a big head shaving party at Grandma's house on Monday night and Brooks shaved just about everyone. We all love you Brooks and are glad that you are doing so well!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Good news

Brooks has been doing really well the past few days. On Friday, the doctors allowed him to go home until the next chemo treatment. He has been able to produce a few good blood cells on his own. Yeah! He is so strong! He is home, but he is still unable to have visits from friends or family because his immune system is still very low. As long as he doesn't run a fever, he can be at home. Ethan and Nic have been so happy to see their brother. As far as I know, the next round of chemo for Brooks starts on Friday of this week. Our family is praying that he does just as well with the second round as he did with the first. Stay tough buckaroo! We love you!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

AML Leukemia 101

Every morning the doctor comes in to see Brooks and reviews his labs with us. Right now, because of the chemotherapy, Brooks doesn't have any of the blood cells that would normally protect him from infection. So he has no "immune system". We are watching his labs to see when those blood cells start rebuilding. We are being told that won't happen for about another week. We also watch his red blood cell and platelet count. If those are really low, Brooks will get a transfusion that day. The chemotherapy kills the good and bad blood cells so he has been getting transfusions quite a bit since we have been here. Once his blood counts rebuild, we will start the next round of chemotherapy. Because Ethan and Nic were not a bone marrow match, Brooks won't get a bone marrow transplant (as long as he responds to chemo). We will keep repeating this process 4 more times over the next 6 to 9 months. There are many things that could happen while his body is so fragile. We are hoping and praying he will continue to be strong.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Just chillin'

Brooks has been doing well the past few days. He is just kickin' back and playing lots of XBox. Brooks is teaching Lisa how to play Call of Duty. His plan is to teach her how to play really well so that she can beat all of his friends by the time they are through with his hospital stay.

Lisa wears a mask at night when she is in the room with Brooks. It is hard for him to tell if she is smiling, so he always asks, "Are you smiling?" (typical Brooks). I really think that Lisa needs to find some masks with facial expressions. Then he can always know how she is feeling.

Several people have asked about getting tested to see if they are a match with Brooks bone marrow. Because Ethan and Nic aren't a match, the plan is to continue with the chemo treatments and to monitor how Brooks body responds. If the doctors decide that a bone marrow transplant is still needed after the chemo, we will send all of you the information about being tested. We are hopeful that he will do well with the chemo. : )

Moving Day

Thank you to everyone for helping move the family this weekend! It was so touching to see all of the work that had been done in the home in St. George before we arrived. We appreciate the huge amount of time that was contributed by so many people. Thanks to the family and friends who were ready to move all of the boxes into the new home when the trucks arrived. We are so blessed!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Losing it...

I was able to hang out with Brooks today, and I have to say, that kid is so freakin' amazing! Brooks looks at every day as an opportunity to experience and learn new things. He rocks! The pictures I am posting tonight look a little sad, but don't be sad. Brooks wasn't. He didn't want to shave his head right away, because he thought it was cool to pull out his own hair...only a boy would think like that. This afternoon, he finally told the nurse to shave it all off. All of the uncles and cousins are ready to shave their heads in support of Brooks. We are hoping that Grandpa Palmer and Grandpa Call join in. ; ) Brooks has been playing XBox non stop for the past few days and Lisa is so happy that he has the energy to do it. We love you bud!

Note from Lisa

I told myself when I agreed to do this blog that I would stick to the facts and not allow emotions to be involved. Thanks to my sister who I love dearly, that idea didn't last very long. I cried when I read her blog last night. I'm glad that she is brave enough to say what I couldn't. I hate this....

It is so hard to talk about what is going on with out my heart feeling like it is going to crack. I am sorry for all of the unreturned calls and texts.... Please know that we feel like we are being carried through this with all of your thoughts and prayers. We appreciate everything you are all doing and all of the well wishes. Thank you!!


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Cancer sucks

Brooks started losing his hair today. We also found out that Nic and Ethan aren't a match for the bone marrow. Dang! More chemo. They told Lisa that Brooks has type M2 AML, which has a little better outlook than other types of AML. Hopefully that will bring the odds over 50/50. All in, it has been a pretty tough day.

P.S. Cancer sucks and we hate it!


Monday, January 11, 2010

Pizza Day

Brooks has been craving cheese pizza for a while. On Thursday night, Brooks ordered a feast of food from the cafeteria (cheese pizza, chicken soup, a lime slush, a fruit punch gatoraid, and I think a few other items). That boy was ready to eat! The food came, he ate a few bites, and he was finished. He has really had a hard time eating more than a few bites. Tonight, Lisa was able to bring him cheese pizza from Little Caesars, and he ate a full slice and a half! It is so fun to see him feeling as good as he does today.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Happy Dance

From Lisa (Brooks Mom) - January 10, 2010

I left the hospital Friday night and Greg took over. It is hard to leave worrying about what might happen while I'm away. Greg is such an amazing father and a lot of fun. I know that they will have a party while I'm away if they can. Brooks has had some good days this week. To my surprise, he didn't get nauseous from the chemo at all. He has had a few severe headaches though. We have found out that when his platelets get low he gets nose bleeds and bleeding in the back of his throat. For some reason it has been worse at night and it keeps him awake trying to get the blood out instead of swallowing it. When he finally has a minute for sleep, the nurses are back in the room doing something else to take care of him. He is so tired but he hasn't complained once. So many people have asked me how Brooks is doing, you know, how he is handling all of this mentally. He is doing better than I would have ever thought. I am so amazed by how he has responded to everything. So, yes, he has always been laid back and easy going, and this hasn't changed that about him. He has such a big heart. He is looking after me too (shouldn't it be the other way around??) He told me the other night that I should leave for a little while and take some time for myself. He said, "Mom, you deserve it, you've been doing so much for me." What?! It caught me by surprise. It shouldn't, because this is Brooks, but it does because I don't know how he can be so strong. Last night I got a text from him. It was Homer Simpson dancing to some music. It said, "I got this text when I first got sick and it made me smile, I hope it makes you smile now too." I don't know if he sent this to just me or his friends too. He is amazing for thinking about how he can cheer other people up and make them happy at this time in his life. He is teaching me so much.

Yesterday was Brooks last day of chemotherapy for this round. Wheew... One down. Last night they disconnected him from all of the IV lines they had going in him and now he won't be attached to that pole for the next few weeks. He was really excited and had some energy when I talked to him last night. We all did the happy dance for him and had a good laugh. I love times like this.

Take a breath

From Lisa (Brooks mom) Jan. 7, 2009
Wow, it's hard to know where to start. I’m still trying to process everything. We brought Brooks to the emergency room at Primary Children’s Hospital on Monday afternoon (the 28th). We had barely been admitted when the doctor here dropped the "L" word. What a shock. Brooks spent the first night in ICU really struggling. Tuesday, the doctors officially told us that Brooks has AML Leukemia. (A good site for information is, look for children’s AML). We were told that he would need to stay in the hospital for the duration of his treatments which will be around six months. If we are lucky, he may be able to go home for a few days in between treatment phases. Wednesday they took him in for surgery. They checked his spinal fluid for leukemia and put chemotherapy into his spinal fluid at the same time. They did a bone marrow biopsy and then placed a central line so that he could start chemotherapy. He is now on his 8th day of chemotherapy. It has actually been helping him feel better than he did. He has been eating a little better every day. He had lost 10 lbs before going to the hospital. The doctors say he is responding well to the chemotherapy. It's doing its job and killing the cancer cells so far. At the end of the month we will have another bone marrow biopsy to see how well it's working for sure. We found out today that he will be getting a bone marrow transplant if Ethan or Nic are a match for him. We will know more next week about that. Today he is doing as good as can be expected maybe even better than that. We are just taking it all in, day by day, and hoping and praying that each day is good and that we can all stay positive.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Diagnosis

December 28, 2009: The family of Brooks Call was told Brooks has leukemia. He is at Primary Children’s hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah … his white blood count was so high they are starting chemotherapy immediately. They took him for surgery for a spinal tap to see how far it has spread. Chemo started right then as they inject the areas tapped first … at least that is what we understand. The family did not see this coming, he just took sick all of a sudden, laid around the house all day Christmas and they thought he possibly had the flu. They thought maybe Mono, but, after family doctor saw his blood sample and the super high white blood count they immediately rushed him to Primary Children’s hospital. All family and friends are all emotionally stunned and in shock. Brooks is a fun loving 13 year old teen.

Lisa and Brooks