For our 3rd edition of this event we will be lacing up the trail shoes for a special little man who is battling Acute Myeloid Leukemia at only 4 1/2 years old.
WHEN? Friday (evening), July 7, 2017 / 7 PM Start
WHERE? Southdown Trails off of Valhi Rd (Houma)
(south of Hollywood Rd)
HOW MUCH? Only $10 per race entry
WHAT? 2-Mile trail run on grassy trails
Keith “Strong” Pitre is the son of Reanna and Otis (Opie) Pitre Jr. In October of 2012 he was born early at 32 weeks and spent 5 weeks in the NICU at Terrebonne General Medical Center. After coming home he had quite a few different delays. The most noticeable was that he only tried saying “Mom” and “Dad”, and nothing more. At almost 6 months old he had to get tubes in his ears. Opie and Reanna thought that might have been why he wasn't talking much. By 2 ½ years old Keith was tested at LSU for Autism Spectrum Disorder, which he was diagnosed with. Keith has been in early intervention programs that have helped make progress with his speech.
In April of 2016 Opie and Reanna brought Keith to the doctor for sores in his mouth and a rash on the back side of his thighs. The doctors decided to send Keith to Ochsner for Children in New Orleans where he was diagnosed with and treated for AML (Acute Myeloid Leukemia). The initial treatment was working, at least for the time being.
On January 3, 2017 Keith’s doctor in New Orleans realized his cancer had returned and decided it was time to send the Pitre’s to St Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, TN. Opie, Reanna and Keith made the trip to Memphis in January 2017 and have been there ever since. Opie and Reanna made a very courageous decision for Opie to take a leave of absence from his work in the oilfield and survive off of their savings to be with his family in Memphis throughout Keith’s treatment. He and Reanna are by Keith’s side every step of the way.
Keith is back in remission mainly thanks to his very brave mom who donated her stem cells through a stem cell transplant on March 28, 2017. Everyone is praying that the transplant procedure completely works so that Keith can be fully cancer free. The Pitre’s will remain in Memphis until the 100th day from the transplant, which will be early to mid-July. They will then have to make frequent trips to Memphis to continue treatment and testing.
That is where Cooper Life Fund comes in. All proceeds from the 3rd edition of the Strong Heart Trail Trot will assist the Pitre family as the live away in Memphis and also to help with their upcoming trips to and from Tennessee.
Opie, Keith Strong & Reanna
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a form of leukemia. Leukemias are cancers that start in cells that would normally develop into different types of blood cells.
“Acute” means that this leukemia can progress quickly if not treated, and would probably be fatal in a few months. “Myeloid” refers to the type of cell this leukemia starts from.
Most cases of AML develop from cells that would turn into white blood cells (other than lymphocytes), but some cases of AML develop in other types of blood-forming cells. The different types of AML are listed in How is Acute Myeloid Leukemia Classified?
AML starts in the bone marrow (the soft inner part of certain bones, where new blood cells are made), but in most cases it quickly moves into the blood. It can sometimes spread to other parts of the body including the lymph nodes, liver, spleen, central nervous system (brain and spinal cord), and testicles.
Treatment of most cases of AML is usually divided into 2 chemotherapy (chemo) phases:
Treatment usually needs to start as quickly as possible after the diagnosis because AML can progress very quickly. Sometimes another type of treatment needs to be started even before the chemo has had a chance to work.