Family finds new ways to be thankful this holiday - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Family finds new ways to be thankful this holiday

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) - Life did a 360 for Andrew McCall's family in June. Eight-year-old Andrew was diagnosed with leukemia and has spend more than 60 days at Blair E. Batson Children's Hospital.

"We thought he had mono and I was trying to get the doctor to make him stay at home so he could get well," explained his dad Perry McCall. "And that afternoon, we were here finding out we had leukemia.

His description of first arriving is simple, "really scary," but his doctors have stepped in to make him feel more at ease.

"The good news is the cure rates for leukemia are great," described pediatric hematologist-oncologist Dr. Betty Herrington. "Most kids are cured of leukemia."

Andrew's dad Perry is a pastor. The doxology he sings each Sunday, "praise God from whom all blessings flow," now brings to mind Andrew, his doctors and nurses.

"You can actually tell they light up to walk in because, it's their place," described McCall.

Andrew is a typical eight year old boy who makes use of the activity room at Batson every chance he gets.

"Been overwhelmed with thankfulness all the way through," said Perry McCall. "My wife and I call it joyous suffering."

With the Egg Bowl just two days away, Andrew makes it clear that he loves his Mississippi State Bulldogs.
Some of his happiest days at the hospital were when he met the MSU football and basketball teams. All the while, his parents stand in amazement by their brave little boy.

"We've never had a single conversation with Andrew about you've gotta be strong. You gotta have a good attitude. You've got to do this. You've got to do that. He's just been that way," said McCall.

The McCalls aren't worried about what they'll have to eat this Thanksgiving. They've instead been forced to find new reasons for thanks.

"We're very thankful for this place," McCall said. "We're constantly reminded going through all of this, some of Andrew's happiest times are actually being here."

The McCall family is from Madden, Mississippi.

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