Community rallies for #SAWYERSTRONG

By Charlette Hilton

A very young man in our very own Lincoln Parish is showing all what it means to be a fighter and an overcomer.

Sawyer Hunt, son of Brandon and Brittany Hunt, is the very definition of southern boy. Sawyer is 3 years old and lives with his mom and dad and his four siblings: Felicity (14), Cash (12), River (5) and Lennon Grace (2).

“They all love riding their bikes and four wheelers, playing on their swing set, playing on their zip line, and just being outside,” said mom, Brittany.

Sawyer recently celebrated his third birthday and like most three-year-old boys goes full tilt all day long.

“He loves everything to do with ninjas and dinosaurs and especially superheroes,” said Brittany. “He will show you his muscles every chance you let him and he has more energy than you can possibly imagine. He never slows down and he will literally run circles around the house while making sounds that he thinks a fast car driving past you would make. He is the most hilarious kid, but he can also melt your heart in a second.”

According to his mom, Sawyer has always been the healthiest of their five kids.

“We’ve always called him our healthy kid because he has never really been sick. He’s had an ear infection or two and maybe a little cold but nothing else. Even when we all had COVID, he was perfectly fine,” said Brittany.

Then, Brittany started to notice that Sawyer was getting quite a few bruises on his legs.

“I kept telling myself, ‘He’s just a boy’ and tried not to worry about it,” she said.

However, over the next month, the bruising became worse and more obvious that they were not normal bruises. Sawyer would wake up each morning with very deep and dark purple bruises in random places.

“I just had an off feeling about it and I couldn’t shake the feeling that something wasn’t right even though he was never actually sick,” said Brittany.

Brittany finally made an appointment with Sawyer’s pediatrician, Dr. Marlene Daher with Green Clinic. After lab work, Daher called that evening to explain to the Hunt family what she knew at that point and that she had already been in touch with a pediatric oncologist.

“Dr. Daher has been an absolute angel in our lives. Even before his diagnosis, she was getting Sawyer accepted as a patient at St. Jude’s and making sure we were taken care of,” said Brittany. 

Within a couple of days, the Hunts were headed to St. Jude’s with Sawyer who had been diagnosed with B-CELL Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Since that diagnosis, Sawyer has undergone surgery for his port, multiple lumbar punctures since the leukemia was in his spinal fluid, bone marrow biopsies, and multiple doses of chemotherapy per week.

“As scary as this has been and as much as he has been through, from surgery to tons of procedures where he is put to sleep, getting his port accessed and re-accessed and so many other unmentionable nasty things, he has blown us away with how amazing he has done. He is without a doubt the strongest kid I know,” said Brittany. 

Sawyer calls everything that goes through his port his “muscle water.” He helps the nurses do his lab draws and flush his port.

“I hate that we are in this situation but I’m so thankful for St. Jude’s. It is full of literal angels and people who go out of their way to make sure we are taken care of. No questions go unanswered,” Brittany said.

During their stay in Memphis, both Brittany and dad Brandon have been by Sawyer’s side the whole time.

“Brandon hasn’t been back to work since June 10 so that has been a little tough but we have been lucky enough to both be with Sawyer this entire time,” said Brittany, “Our family has been the biggest blessing. They have taken care of our other kids the entire time and we are blessed with the most amazing people in our lives who have gone above and beyond to help us in any way they can.”

A GoFundMe has been set up to help the Hunts pay bills and expenses while they are with Sawyer during his treatment at St. Jude’s. Donations can be made at Fundraiser for Brittany Hunt by Lexi Taunton : #SAWYERSTRONG.

One thing is for certain: Sawyer is a living example of determination and strength.

“I’d never imagined this being the life we would live, but I know that God has Sawyer’s back. He is showing us and everyone around us every single day just how special our little boy is. Sawyer is going to do big things in life and this is just a small hurdle he will leap over in that process,” said Brittany. “Cancer doesn’t stand a chance against Sawyer. He will remind cancer that he is strong every single day until he is completely healed.”

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