How One Teen’s Wrong Text Led To Thousands Of Dollars Being Donated To A Boy With Leukemia

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“Almost exactly a month ago, I was at home taking care of my 5 children when I received a text from a number I didn’t recognize. Having recently attained my realtor’s license, I didn’t think much of it as I anticipated receiving calls and texts from unknown numbers with this profession. I opened up the text to see a young lady in a dress asking for an opinion on how she looked. We moved to Spring Hill, Tennessee, in October, and being a realtor, I had decided having a local number would make more sense. Apparently this phone number is a recycled number because this wasn’t the first text, or phone call, I had received from someone expecting someone else to be the recipient.

Since the young lady asked for an opinion, I figured I would take the opportunity to try and make her day! I gathered the kids together and showed them the picture of the young lady in the dress. I asked them if they thought she looked pretty in the dress and we all agreed that she looked beautiful. So, I asked them if they wanted to have a little fun and send her a picture giving two thumbs up! Everyone was on board! I convinced them to squeeze together to fit in the picture (that can be a challenge to force them to get close to each other sometimes, haha), gave the two thumbs up, and I snapped the photo and sent it off! When my wife came home with Kaizler from his chemo treatments, I showed her the text conversation. She agreed it was a cute interaction and thought the picture was a good idea. We never received a response message (at that time) so I didn’t really think much more about it.

Screenshot of text message of pictures of teen in floor length gown
Tony Wood
Screenshot of text message teen sent to wrong person
Tony Wood

Fast forward to March 8th, and this young lady in our Facebook group, Carlie Perkins, posts screenshots of this tweet from Syd’s friend, Mandi Miller, that is taking off and apparently included my children. The screenshot showed a picture of the girl in the dress, and I immediately knew what it was about. I thought, ‘Oh, this is cool! The kids are Twitter famous!’ At the time it was pointed out to me, the tweet had 18,000+ likes and over 2,000 retweets. I thought that meant we were viral. FYI, a tweet apparently isn’t considered viral unless it has 60,000 or more likes, or 80,000 or more retweets per Google, lol. So, I QUICKLY learned what viral really was!

I thought it was really cool that this was gaining traction and I thought, ‘Hey, I’m gonna say hello!’ So I tweeted a hello response telling Mandi hi and how I found out about it. That’s when things got crazy. This gentleman named i.l.l.u.m.i.n..N.a.u.g.h.t.y on Twitter (whom I now know is a super kind man from India) joined my son’s Facebook group and took the initiative to post his GoFundMe link. A couple people, including illuminaughty, had asked for a thumbs up from Kaizler. So, I thanked him for his consideration and posted a picture of Kaizler giving a thumbs up.

Screenshot of tweets promoting a go fund me for boy with leukemia

We watched the likes and retweets grow exponentially. We told the kids they were Twitter famous and, while they thought that was cool, we didn’t get a big response mostly because they don’t exactly know what Twitter is. The bigger kids have heard of it, but we try to keep them limited on things like social media. While watching all of this was extremely cool, what really shocked us was the growth of our GoFundMe account. Donations started coming in and my wife and I were amazed at people’s generosity. I remember tweeting about how the GoFundMe had received an extra $1,000! We were so excited — that $1,000 was going to be a BIG deal for us in our current situation. It didn’t stop there.

In 24 hours people had more than doubled what we had received in the last 26 months prior (which was about $2,000+)! Last night, I put up a message on Kaizler’s Facebook group talking about how we had met and exceeded our goal of $10,000. Our minds were blown, tears had been shed more than once. As of the time I’m typing this story, our GoFundMe sits at $26,461.

Boy with leukemia sitting at table eating food while wearing red cape and blue eye mask on his head
Tony Wood
Boy with leukemia taking a big big of ice cream sundae
Tony Wood

I can’t even begin to tell you what this means to us, what this means for us. We have an amazing support of friends and family. The prayers have been non-stop, people have given their time and energy to help us in whatever ways they can. I am humbled by the generosity and outpouring of love we have received by the people we know, and by people we’ve never even met.

Little boy with leukemia sitting in hospital bed smiling with hand made notes and poster behind him
Tony Wood

To give you some background, Kaizler was diagnosed in 2015. Kaizler was acting lethargic and he had a temperature off and on. We didn’t go to the doctor right away because we assumed he was just sick, and sickness is no stranger to a home with 6 kids. After a day or two, my wife decided she better get him checked out because he was beginning to look pale. We took him to his Primary Care Physician at that time, Jennifer Sevier. Jennifer is our hero. A lot of times physicians don’t catch these things because they just take some symptoms, try to treat them, and if that doesn’t work, then they dig deeper. Not Jennifer. She could tell it wasn’t an ear infection and he tested negative for the flu, so she requested blood work immediately.

Boy with leukemia lying in hospital bed with oxygen and other wires attached to him
Tony Wood

We got a call a little after that saying that we needed to take him to Bothwell Hospital in Sedalia, Missouri, to run labs because they thought he was anemic. A couple hours after that, the hospital called and advised us to take him to Children’s Mercy ASAP. They told us that he either had a severe viral infection, or he had Leukemia. We have never prayed so hard for a severe viral infection in our lives.

Boy with leukemia lying down while someone adjusts hose in his mouth
Tony Wood

The day before Christmas Eve, we were told our little boy has Leukemia. There have been some major trials since then. Several bouts of pneumonia hospitalizations due to low IGG levels, silent seizures which led to him being life-flighted back in 2016. Through it all though, we know God is with us. He has shown himself to us on several occasions, and we trust that He will pull us through.

Boy with leukemia standing in kitchen in batman pj's sipping out of a straw
Tony Wood

Kaizler is at a chemo clinic today. He had to make up for one of his missed LP’s (Spinal Tap) today. I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you for all the love and support. We are humbled by everyone’s response to this situation. It’s amazing, that something as simple as a little text, can turn into a life changing event. God bless all of you.”

Boy with leukemia sleeping in blue recliner at hospital
Tony Wood
Mother smiles in selfie with son with leukemia in doctors waiting room
Tony Wood
Boy with leukemia sits on doctors office with mask on a shirt off that reveals a scar on his chest
Tony Wood

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Tony Wood, 34, of Spring Hill, Tennessee. Submit your story here, and be sure to subscribe to our best love stories here.

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