Boy continues hospital toy drive after declared cancer-free

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Dawson Babiak, 8, is ready to celebrate the first Christmas he can remember when he won’t be sick.

After four years fighting an aggressive form of Leukemia, he took his final chemotherapy earlier this year.

“It was Nov. 17, 2014 when we noticed Dawson was a little sick, lethargic. (Dawson’s mom) saw little red spots all over him,” explained Jason Babiak, Dawson’s dad.

Test results brought news neither of them could believe, and a journey that was more difficult than they could have imagined.

Treatment was immediate. The doctors told his parents Dawson had so many cancer cells in his body they may not have been able to do anything if they had waited a few more days.

“Day in and day out, you see your son gradually lose weight, lose his hair, be nauseous,” the Babiaks said of the challenges of treatment.

An allergic reaction to one of the chemotherapy drugs led to a grand mal seizure and a stroke at one point, which Dawson’s parents say was even scarier than the diagnosis.

Through it all, they relied on Helen Devos Children’s Hospital and a ton of support from family and friends to get them through. It was one moment that inspired them to do something to give back to the hospital.

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