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home : community : e-community August 20, 2022

5/5/2017 8:23:00 AM
Avery's Story
(L-R) Avery Wilson and Paige Beam who is fighting the same battle as Avery. (Photos Courtesy of Their Moms)
(L-R) Avery Wilson and Paige Beam who
is fighting the same battle as Avery. 

(Photos Courtesy of Their Moms)
(L-R) Parker Wilson, Avery Wilson, and Peyton Wilson at Levine's for treatment.
(L-R) Parker Wilson, Avery Wilson, and
Peyton Wilson at Levine's for treatment.

+ view more photos
Avery and her Papaw

Angie Towery
Staff Writer

LINCOLNTON, N.C. - Ten-year-old Avery Wilson is a fourth grader at Pumpkin Center Intermediate and is the daughter of Crissie Wilson. Avery is the youngest of three children. She has an older sister, Peyton Wilson, who is a rising junior at Belmont Abbey College, and a brother, Parker Wilson, who is a senior at North Lincoln High School.

Avery is your ordinary country girl who loves her taters and veggies. She enjoys playing basketball, using her metal detector, collecting rocks, and loves to go fishing with her papaw on his boat "Tubby".

Avery's mom, Crissie, says, "Avery was swimming at three, she is strong-willed and very independent. At 18-months-old, she put her hand on her hip, shook her finger and said, 'Mama, don't give me a hard time.' I knew I was in trouble."

Crissie shares, "Avery has never been sick. She's never had the flu or anything really." Mom is a nurse of 25 years and said, "There was three different episodes of bone pains: legs which hurt at night, I just thought it was growing pains; then there was pain in her back so I took her to Urgent Care, they thought it was a pulled muscle; and then it was her shoulder and some fresh blue bruises. She had small amounts of tiredness (nothing abnormal), no loss of appetite. I took her to the doctor and my PA listened to my concerns about the bruising. She said she didn't think there was anything to worry about but ran tests anyway. Within one day they called and told me to take her to Levine's. On Wednesday, April 5, we got the news that rocked our world."

Avery was diagnosed with Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL). The prognosis is 2.5 years treatment for most females.

Crissie said that a couple weeks before things began to unfold, she kept having the thoughts of Psalms 23:4 --- Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me… weighed on her heart. She said that she explored the thoughts of herself having cancer or losing her meme. She said her faith led her to know something was going on but she never thought it would be this.

"This is the scariest thing that's ever happened. It doesn't just knock you down, it knocks you flat on your face but God is walking every step of the way with us."  says Crissie. She goes on to say, "Our faith, me staying strong, in front of Avery, our good family support, and me allowing her to still be a kid is really helping her to cope with everything."

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"Avery is an old soul in a ten-year-old's body, she's mature, she has been brave through this whole thing. She said to me, 'Mom, it's okay that I have this, God is going to use this. I haven't seen you read your Bible this much before --- so if my story will help somebody know Jesus then it's okay.'”

Avery has completed three treatments thus far. Mom says, "I think we have been blessed. She has the normal side effects of numbness in legs and fingers but she has kept her appetite. She did lose her hair." "She cried for about 20 seconds, she really hopes it comes back red.  She handled it better than me. Her head gets cold so she wears scarfs, do rags, or hats. My dad (Harold Beard), shaved his head. Avery didn't want me to shave mine because she said my head is too big (LOL)."

Crissie shares that she feels God has laid a path for her family. She had planned on attending school so she took a weekend position with work but she now sees it as God's will to place her where he has so that she can take care of Avery.

Avery misses school. She sets her watch to work on the same things her classmates are working on. Pumpkin Center Intermediate is in the process of setting up a virtual classroom so that Avery can see the kids in class.

Crissie's message is, "Listen to your motherly instincts. One thing I have learned is, life is too short. I look back at things that bothered me before, and now, they mean nothing. Enjoy your life, enjoy your kids."

Crissie and Avery have found friendships with another mother and daughter (Deana Herndon and Paige Beam). Paige is also a ten-year-old, tough red head who is fighting the same battle as Avery. (Paige was diagnosed, in December 2016.)

Crissie said, "We are not the only ones whose kids have been diagnosed with cancer but until you are in that seat, nothing can prepare you. Meeting a person who you can actually talk to or text has been wonderful support. You have a team (an army), we have our family but they hurt like we do. Although I am not a pediatric nurse, it's still hard to take off that nurse hat and be the mom. I have taken care of patients with cancer but to have someone you can ask how did you handle this or that, helps a lot. Deana has been a lifesaver."

Deana said, "Meeting Crissie and Avery has been awesome. Any support is great but with the bond of fighting the same illness, it not only gives us common ground, it helps Paige to help Avery which gives me comfort and us moms have someone who understands firsthand what we are going through. We all will be forever friends."

Crissie said, "I want to thank everybody. You expect your family and friends to reach out but there has been college kids, from Belmont Abbey, who have sent money (they are broke, I feel like I should be sending them money). The support from all these teenagers - the lacrosse team, soccer team, softball team (they even come visit), our family and friends,  my CHS-Lincoln family, the strangers for all the gift cards, gas cards, all the people praying for Avery. She has prayers coming up from everywhere."

You can keep up with Avery's story by following AveryStrong on Facebook.

Donations can be made to a GoFundMe account for Avery by CLICKING HERE

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