Michael is a fun loving young man, with a passion for drawing
First, I would like to thank you for your generous spirit. My name is Genola Sulton. I am a single mother of four children: Michael (age 16), Xavier(age 11), Sharlisha (age 10), and Zion (age 3). Michael was diagnosed with Stage 4, Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma. This chapter of our life began in October 2014, when Michael started complaining of headaches (almost every day). Every time I would take him to the doctor, I was told that it was just a part of him entering puberty and this happened to 2 out of 10 boys entering puberty. This continued until February 2015, when I was told that Michael had a severe sinus infection. Two days after having this diagnoses of a sinus infection, Michael collapsed at school with a really bad nose bleed. He was rushed to the hospital, where it was discovered through a CT scan that he had a large mass in his nasal cavity and both sides of his neck, his checks, and going through the cavity to his ears. On March 2, 2015, Michael was diagnosed with cancer. Since then, we have had to travel back and forth to Charleston in order for him to receive treatment (chemotherapy and radiation).
This has been very trying on our family. At the time of his diagnosis, I was working two jobs, working 3rd shift cashiering at a convenience store and as a home healthcare aide in the mornings, all while going to Remington College (full-time) for Medical Billing and Coding. It was difficult but necessary for me to provide for my children. After receiving Michael’s diagnosis, I had to notify my jobs and the school that I only had three days before we had to go to Charleston because of the location and the severity of the cancer that was found. Of course, that did not go well, and I became unemployed and had to drop all of my courses. I am still unemployed and living with a family member until I am able to maintain a job and find a place that my children and I can call “home”.
Michael’s siblings have suffered much from this situation. We have missed being able to celebrate Zion’s and Sharlisha’s birthday with them. By the grace of God, we were home to celebrate Xavier’s birthday. I was unable to register, Sharlisha and Xavier for school. I had to rely on my mom, to assist me with childcare and registration while we were in Charleston for three months.
While in Charleston, our only means of transportation was taken into repossession because I was not able to keep up the payments. Only by the kindness of the individuals we met while in Charleston were we able to have food, transportation, and lodging. For this act of kindness, I am so grateful and truly blessed. To have met so many wonderful and caring people overwhelms my heart to no end.
As a mother, I just want to be a provider and role model to my children. I have often considered myself to be an independent woman, but this storm is very hard to weather. I have cried many nights, thinking about how I can provide for my three while, I am so far away with a very sick son. I don’t know why God chose us for this journey. And, who else is meant to receive a lesson though our pain, but I know my God makes no mistake. I know him to be a miracle worker and a just God. This has been the hardest battle my family has had to fight. And I am so honored to be able to say that on October 2, 2015, I received the call from Michael’s doctor at MUSC that his scans from September 30th, came back negative for cancer. Michael is scheduled to ring the bell on October 28, 2015. My baby is cured, and we are now back with his siblings. We don’t have our own home, and I am not able to work. But I thank God that I have my son, and he is a living testimony that God heals and blesses in his healing.