Parish rallies around 8-year-old battling cancer

Chad Grosch II loves Legos and playing games on his iPad. He’s also received 10 to 15 blood transfusions in the last three months.

“It’s been a crazy few months but, I mean, the community has been amazing,” Grosch’s mother, Nicole, said. “I don’t know how we’re ever going to thank everybody for what they’ve done for us.”

The St. Charles Parish community has pulled together to help Grosch recover. Girls scout troop 20082 donated an iPad that has been instrumental in easing the boredom involved in spending weeks in Children’s Hospital in New Orleans.

Friends have visited periodically, but only when Grosch’s immune system allows.

Actor John C. Reilly, star of “Step Brothers” and “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” also visited Grosch. In March, Lakewood Elementary will host a blood drive to benefit the young cancer fighter.

“Blood cancer is a big deal when it comes to blood products,” Vicki Bergeron, the mother of a child lost to leukemia, said. “They’re constantly having to replace the contaminated blood.”

Bergeron said that running out of blood and platelets is a very real possibility that she faced when her son, Kyle, was in the same hospital. Children’s Hospital, she said, is not equipped with an on-site donation section, and instead relies on the Blood Center, who will be performing the draws at Lakewood on March 13.

“It means a lot to get support,” Bergeron said.

Diagnosed Dec. 20, the 8-year-old Lakewood Elementary student suffers from acute lymphoblastomic leukemia. Since Grosch was diagnosed, he has only spent a little over a week at home as this particular brand of leukemia requires approximately nine months of intensive treatments. This has taken Grosch out of class and makes it difficult to have visitors or go home, as his immune system has been weakened.

In addition to the transfusions, Grosch has faced three rounds of chemotherapy, with one more scheduled. He is currently in remission, and will hopefully be ready to return home sometime during the summer. A homebound teaching program should allow him to progress to the next grade despite missing half the school year.

“He’s been great, he’s really a trooper…he’s always smiling, he’s happy,” Nicole said. “As bad as it is, it could’ve been so much worse.”

The public is invited to follow Grosch’s recovery and hear about other events benefiting the grade schooler by visiting his Facebook page, “Cure for Chad.”

The next blood drive will be held Friday, March 13 from 1:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Lakewood Elementary cafeteria. Walk-ins are welcome, but the organizers hope to get 50 people signed up to donate prior to the event. Those looking for more information can contact Vicki Bergeron at sweetserenity1998@yahoo.com or call Suzy Potter at (504) 939-9609.

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