One of the most terrifying things a parent can go through is watching their child suffer through a severe illness….especially when that illness is cancer.
‘Nashville’ star Charles Esten knows first hand what’s it’s like to live through such an ordeal. In an interview with The Tennessean, the actor relived the horrifying moment the doctor gave him the news that his 2-year old daughter Addie had leukemia.
Little Addie was weak and had little red dots all over her body. Charles and his wife took Addie to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles for tests. The result? Leukemia.
“Esten heard the doctor say his 2-year-old daughter had an 85 percent of survival, but still, the diagnosis knocked him sideways,” writes Brad Schmidt of The Tennessean.
“You feel very powerless,” Esten told the newspaper. “It was terrifying.”
Esten recalls sharing the news with his wife, Patty.
“We collapsed into each other for a minute and a half, and then we wiped our eyes and walked back into the room.”
Addie, now 16, is cancer free and a soccer star at her Tennessee school. But, her dad said the road to recovery was a long one. Addie never required a transplant, but suffered infections from chemo that resulted in heart problems and a stay in the pediatric ICU.
“People ask, ‘How do you get through that?’ And I say, ‘What’s the alternative?’” Esten said. “We were not without our share of bad days.”
Charles Esten is using Addie’s survival story to raise money for blood cancer sures and bring awareness to the illness.
Esten is now national chairman for the annual Light the Night Walks held across the country. The actor led the Nashville event Friday at Nissan Stadium.
“Being on a Nashville bridge walking with all those survivors and supporters and those close to people who lost their battles — it seems miles from that terrifying, lonely diagnosis.”
Esten will be returning to the small screen in January 2017 for the fifth season of ‘Nashville,’ airing on CMT.
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