CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. — Jeremiah Engrisch’s family said the four-year-old boy from Chesterfield missed out on being a kid while he was battling a serious cancer diagnosis.
Alycia and TJ Caldwell first shared Jeremiah’s courageous battle with the CBS 6 Problem Solvers. At just three years old, the spunky and energetic boy was diagnosed with Stage 3 Wilm’s tumor.
The cancer has already taken one of his kidneys and part of his lung.
“[The diagnosis] was harder on [Alycia] than Jeremiah because he doesn’t really understand what he went through. But, because she’s a nurse, she knew in detail the possibilities, the outcomes, the bad outcomes,” TJ recalled.
At the same time, the stepdaughter of Alycia’s best friend died after a one-month bout with cancer — adding to the emotional toll.
“I’m scared and still scared,” Alycia explained. “But Jeremiah had scans on Monday for the three months post-chemotherapy scans. This type of cancer would show up on the scans and Monday his scans were clear. There was nothing on his scans!”
The Chesterfield family admitted that the last few years tore their family apart. While Jeremiah was in the hospital and enduring chemotherapy, his siblings lived with their grandparents.
“Honestly the hardest time was the family not being together. Not seeing our other children and feeling like I was missing out on my other kids,” Alycia stated.
California-based nonprofit "Campaign One at a Time" heard Jeremiah’s story and are working to raise $10,000 to send his family on a relaxing vacation.
“It would absolutely mean the world. The biggest thing that impacted our family was not being together, so now that we are all together it would be nice to do something happy together,” Alycia said, with a tear in her eye.
CBS 6’s Brendan King then told the family he would make one of the first donations to the fundraiser as part of CBS 6 Gives.
“If anything, we hope that this will inspire others to not only give to your campaign, but recognize others that have been through it this year,” Brendan said.
“That’s fantastic! Thank you!” TJ and Alycia responded.
Jeremiah’s campaign is called #JeremiahFoughtADinosaur. Alycia joked that Jeremiah’s surgery scar was earned after a hard-fought battle with a dinosaur.
The Caldwells plan to travel to Disneyland in California if they are able to raise enough funds.