Everyday Hero: Brandon and Amanda Hill - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Everyday Hero: Brandon and Amanda Hill

JACKSON, MO (KFVS) -

It was like getting punched in the gut.

That’s how Brandon Hill describes the moment he learned his 2-year-old son was diagnosed with leukemia.

Two years later, his son Wyatt is in remission but their fight is just beginning.

Brandon and his wife Amanda have made it their mission to help other families going through the same struggle.

April 3, 2013 is a day the Hill family will never forget.

“The doctor walked in the room and he said, ‘Your son has leukemia and here’s what the next three years of your life is gonna look like," Amanda Hill recalled.

Wyatt hadn’t been sleeping and doctors thought it was a bad ear infection.

But when a blood test showed cause for concern, Wyatt was flown to St. Louis. And the Hill’s lives changed in a second.

“From that moment forward, that’s all we’ve done is go forward and not look back," Brandon Hill said.

Two years and 14,000 miles later, Wyatt is one of the lucky ones.

He’s still in maintenance treatment until next summer, but now the family is taking on a new fight.

“I think we saw a lot of need for things," Brandon said. "That’s sorta where Friends of Wyatt started. We saw other families, things that we needed and were fortunate enough to have access to, some things we didn’t have access to that we did get.”

Friends of Wyatt is a non-profit created by the Hills to raise awareness about childhood cancer and help other families in the process.

"The focus has never been how long do we have with our kid. It’s been a pretty good outlook overall so I think it’s really helping us get through stuff as much as helping other people.”

They do it through blood drives that grow in participation every year, a 5K and biathlon and educating others whenever possible.

Because as Brandon knows, “You don’t really care. I mean I’ll be honest, I never really cared. I never gave blood. I hate to say it, but I didn’t pay that much attention to it.”

That is, until Wyatt was one of the 15,000 kids diagnosed every year in the U.S.

What once may have been indifference, is now their life’s passion.

“We wanted to be able to give back because we’re so thankful that so many people give. Because if Wyatt hadn’t gotten those blood transfusions he wouldn’t be here today," said Amanda.

Their efforts don't stop there. A childhood cancer license plate is in the works and has been brought before the state legislature.

Brandon says they have support from three legislators and hope it will be available for drivers sometime next year.

The family can't wait for the moment they see one of those license plates while driving down the road.

It's been a lot of work, and the license plate design incorporates Wyatt's hand print. His journey will touch everyone who buys one.

If you know of an Everyday Hero in your life, please let us know. Just click here to make your nomination.

We'll profile an Everyday Hero each month on Heartland News and all of our heroes will be honored at the annual Red Cross recognition luncheon.

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