11-year-old leukemia survivor treated to shopping spree

A local department store surprised an 11-year-old cancer survivor with a shopping spree. 

FOX 29 Photojournalist Bill Rohrer has the story.

It was just an ordinary day for 11-year-old Patrick Vanderslice and his family until store manager Brooks Liard surprised him with a $150 shopping spree at the Burlington department store in Philadelphia.

Patrick is a survivor. Two years ago, he complained of being cold and having headaches. His mom, Bethann, took him to the doctor and was diagnosed with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. 

Weeks in and out of the hospital caused Patrick to missed his third-grade year at school.

"He had been through so much where he has had to grow up a little sooner and have experiences that you would never want to have. To be able to come here and just go through the store it is almost like Christmas morning when you walk down and see all the presents.  It’s that kind of feeling," Bethann said.

Going through a whole store can be overwhelming. Thankfully, he had his brother Jacob and sister Emma there to help

For the last 18 years, Burlington has partnered with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to raised 37 million dollars for research, patient support and days like this. A day Patrick can just be a kid. 

"I went for stuff that I like to have. It makes me feel special.  Very Special," Patrick said.

Right now, Patrick is in the maintenance phase of his treatment. Hospital visits are now monthly instead of weekly and there's an end in sight.

"Hopefully by October 2020, he will be out of treatment and that’s it no more chemo," Bethann said. 

 Patrick still has a way to go but continues to remain strong.

"I had help with my family and all the love that they gave me, which gave me the power to fight through," Patrick said.

If you wish to follow Patrick's journey, please visit Patrick's Patriots Facebook page.