Monroe County toddler fights cancer as family spreads more awareness

Colton was diagnosed with lymphoblastic lymphoma.

FORSYTH, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Thursday marks the last day of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, but the battle does not stop for the one in every 285 children diagnosed with cancer in America every year. This includes Colton Poulnott in Monroe County. He’s the son of 41NBC Managing Editor and Producer Clay Poulnott.

Colton was diagnosed with lymphoblastic lymphoma back in April, just days before his fourth birthday. His parents, Clay and Rachel Poulnott, say doctors found a large mass near his throat, crushing his airways. Colton immediately started chemotherapy at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta – Egleston Hospital.

This week, Colton is entering phase four of his chemo plan. His family says this is the most intense stage of his treatment. This phase lasts for two months into the Thanksgiving holiday, and Colton will undergo three or four different types of chemo at once.

“He’ll go where he has to get chemo everyday for a week,” says Clay. “He has to do shots at home again. So this is just making sure the tumor is gone.”

Colton’s parents may sound like cancer experts, but they say they had no idea the journey they were about to take to save their son. They also had no idea the impact cancer would have on their family as they parented their oldest child, five-year-old Reese.

“It gets overwhelming, especially on times when me and him have to leave her and Reese and go stay in Atlanta in the hospital, because he’s got to go to chemo,” says Clay. “That’s not normal. Families shouldn’t have to go through that.”

But many families do. The American Childhood Cancer Organization says more than 15,000 American kids are diagnosed with cancer every year. That’s why the organization recognizes September as National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. It is a time to raise funds and awareness.

“You don’t realize for one how common it is and how there’s not a lot of financial support for childhood cancer,” said Rachel.

The Poulnotts are also using this month to share Colton’s story and maybe even save someone else’s life.

“The more you know, the quicker you can act and get to it before it’s too late,” says Clay.

For more information on Colton’s journey and to donate to his fight, click here.



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Categories: Featured, Health, Local News, Medical, Monroe County