The James Family

Ricky James.jpg

On June first, 2005, Rick and Shelli James were blessed with the birth of Richard Allen James III (aka Ricky). On April 1, 2007, Ricky was brought to Children’s Hospital of Atlanta with severe constipation. Within 4 hours the family learned that Ricky had a tumor blocking his rectum and that he was going to be admitted. Four days and several tests later, it was confirmed ‐ Ricky had rhabdomyosarcoma. Rhabdo is a form of cancer that attaches to the muscles, and in Ricky's case, it is believed that the pelvic mass is stemming from his prostate. He completed 42 weeks of chemo with 28 treatments of radiation. On August 8, 2007, his parents were blessed with the birth of their daughter, Erin Michele. Ricky came to the hospital directly from radiation demanding to see "HIS BABY" and she has been his primary source of attention since. On January 11, 2008, Ricky received his last chemo, with Erin by his side. His first post‐chemo scans showed clear margins and Ricky was declared NED (No Evidence of Disease). It was a wonderful day. Unfortunately, Ricky's next scans showed a mass and our worst fears were concerned....Ricky had a 2‐3 centimeter tumor on the posterior of his prostate. He began another 42‐52 weeks of more advanced chemo. Radiation was not an option this round. Ricky had surgery to remove his bladder, his prostate, surrounding lymph nodes and an extended portion of his urethra. His transverse colon was also removed to create a conduit for his urine.  On February 29, 2008, the last day of his 22nd month of treatment, Ricky received his last chemo. At his routine 6 month scans his lungs showed two very small lesions. On September 16, Ricky was rescanned, and on September 17, we received the devastating news that Ricky now had at least 14 lesions on both lungs. Ricky had his 3rd port inserted and begin chemo for the 3rd time is his life. Ricky lost his battle with cancer and earned his angel wings on May 23, 2010. Despite this, the James family has been essential in UGA Miracle's movement in raising money for our hospital. They are still at almost every event and are as inspiring as they can be.