Daulton Hull insists that he is six. “You’re not six yet, but soon,” chides his mother, Renee, gently. “Yes I am!” Daulton counters. After a few moments, the 5-year-old confesses that he just couldn’t wait until his rapidly approaching sixth birthday “cause I want to go to Toys-R-Us and get some Legos. Cool Legos.”
With his hair styled into a fauxhawk — a tamer version of the mohawk he had months earlier — Daulton is the kind of little boy who brings a smile to all who meet him. Gone is the boy who just a year ago was very sick with relapsed lymphoma.
It all started when Daulton was 3, and breathing trouble led doctors to discover a malignant mass occupying 60 percent of his chest cavity. Chemotherapy, radiation and steroids at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia reduced the tumor to what it is today, a small piece of scar tissue. But after a period of remission, a spinal tap showed the cancer had returned.
So Daulton returned to CHOP for a bone marrow transplant, or as he refers to it, “kicking cancer’s butt.” And he did. He has been cancer-free for nearly a year.
Daulton brought that same spirit to the Four Seasons Parkway Run & Walk, where he was one of the patient ambassadors. “You just feel so good that you’re there for a purpose,” says Renee. “It’s a great day to get together and see all the survivors and so many kids trucking through treatment. It’s an emotional day, but so rewarding.”
After living with so many restrictions to prevent infection, Daulton is now back to a normal life. He spent the summer at the beach with his friends and family and just started first grade in a normal school. “He is super excited about the bus,” says Renee. “He loves the school bus.”