Pettie diagnosed with leukemia at age 3

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 19, 2014


Rylan Pettie celebrated his third birthday on Tues., June 18, 2013. By the following Sunday, he wasn’t feeling well.

He was running a low-grade fever and couldn’t hold anything down.

What doctors thought was strep throat and then mono, turned out to be Pre-B cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

Rylan was diagnosed on June 27, 2013, at the Children’s Hospital in Birmingham and began treatment.

“He takes chemo pills at home and we have to go to Birmingham once a month to get IV chemo,” Cortney Pettie said.

He’s doing great now, Pettie said, but he was recently in the hospital.

“We were in the hospital a couple weeks ago and we had to stay for four days,” she said. “He was running a fever. His fever got up to 104.9 and they found out he had Fifth Disease.”

Fifth disease is a mild rash illness, which begins with fever caused by parvovirus B19, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

A really high fever and a rash on his face was all he suffered from, she said, and they administered antibiotics every 8 hours.

“He’s doing great now though,” she said.

Rylan’s next appointment for IV chemo is today in Birmingham, Pettie said, and her father-in-law will accompany them on the trip.

Pettie and her husband, Jordan, have two other sons, Brayden, 5, and Jackson, 3.

“My 5-year-old is in school so that helps out a lot,” she said. “My mother-in-law teaches at the school he goes to. She’s been a huge help to me.”

“My youngest goes to my dad,” she said.

Pettie and her husband, Jordan, have two other sons, Brayden, 5, and Jackson, 3.

Rylan’s last chemo treatment is scheduled for September 2016.

Additionally, Pettie said she is excited for the Sasser family because Cooper Sasser, another boy who has suffered from leukemia, will have his last treatment this weekend.

“I’m so excited and I know they are,” she said. “It’s a long road, that’s for sure.”

Rylan was among the nine beneficiaries of this year’s Cancer Freeze, which brought in $61,000 in proceeds.