Childhood leukemia brings two Mississippi families together - WDAM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

Childhood leukemia brings two Mississippi families together

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4-year-old Lele Foster and 2-year-old Andrew Cross 4-year-old Lele Foster and 2-year-old Andrew Cross

On March 4th, two separate Mississippi families received news that would bring them together as one. 2-year-old Andrew Cross of Brandon and 4-year-old Lele Foster of Oloh, were both diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia.

"She was running a little fever. I was going to take her to the doctor. My thing was, I going to take her to get an antibiotic. Get it filled, go home, and take it," explained Bo Foster, father of Lele Foster. "The next thing we knew, we were on an ambulance going to Blair Batson not having a clue what was going on."

While the families were originally connected by a family friend, their relationship now goes much deeper.

Both families now spend many days together at Blair Batson Hospital, as both Andrew and Lele receive treatment. We are told treatments are going well, and both are now in remission.

"He doesn't like all the doctors, and he tells them to get out. And go away," said Ellen Doleac, grandmother of Andrew Cross. "But we see Andrew coming back. His smile and personality is coming back."

"You know, she is very active and playing," said Foster.

Coming up this Saturday, April 20th, there will be two events to help support these families and others receiving treatment at Blair Batson Children's Hospital.

"The Mississippi blood services from Jackson is sending two mobile units to Sacred Heart Catholic Church and all of the blood donated for this will go back to Blair Batson Hospital," explained Doleac.

The blood drive and car wash will be from 10 am to 4 pm this Saturday, April 20th, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Hattiesburg. Directly following, from 4 pm – 7 pm, a benefit concert will be held at the Keg and Barrel in Hattiesburg.

"We walked up and down those hallways of Blair Batson Hospital together, and found out that Lele loves the Adam Doleac band," said Doleac. "So our talented nephew Adam and his band will be here Saturday for a benefit concert, and we are very excited and very appreciative about that."

And while Andrew and Lele are unable to attend the event, they are sure to feel the support provided by their friends, family, and community.

"I just look at it as a way to celebrate life, and to celebrate the goodness that comes from this community," said Doleac. "And we are just real grateful. We want to have fun. We have cried enough. We want to have fun, and laugh, and cut-up, and just be grateful for all our blessings."