Wichita family raises awareness after 3-year-old diagnosed with cancer

Three-year-old Azel Bryant's parents said they knew something wasn't right when he came home with a rash that looked like he'd been slapped on the cheek.
Published: Mar. 23, 2023 at 7:21 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - A Wichita family is sharing their story and bringing awareness to childhood cancer. Two weeks ago, parents Darnell and Abigail Bryant learned their 3-year-old son, Azel, has T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, or “T-ALL.”

“The way it was explained to us, it’s just mutated,” Abigail said of the blood cancer affecting her son.

While leukemia is the most common among childhood cancers, the Bryants hope that sharing their journey can help other families facing similar battles. The diagnosis happened with a doctor’s visit after Abigail and Bryant noticed unusual markings on Azel’s face.

“I noticed he started having red spots showing around his eyes and they (were) maybe pin-size dots,” Abigail said. “And I thought that was odd, so I told our family physician that he was what I called, ‘daycare sick.’”

Darnell said markings on his son’s face reminded him of slapped cheek syndrome, a viral infection that gets its name by causing facial rashes that makes it appear as though infected children have been slapped on their cheeks.

The family physician asked for an ultrasound.

“And within that ultrasound, that’s when they said there’s nothing that this could be other than cancer,” Abigail said.

To help others keep up with Azel’s journey, the Bryants are documenting what they’re going through on their Facebook page, “Azel is the 85%,” referencing the approximate survival rate for children with T-ALL.

“I wanted to allow our friends and family and those who are inquisitive on what our journey looks like to come along with us,” Abigail said.

Those wishing to help the family with medical expenses, can donate to their GoFundMe page.