At just 16 months old, James Hall has already gone through more medical hardships than others may see in a lifetime.
James, the son of Nate and Ashley Hall, of Dyersville, was diagnosed with Langerhans-Cell Histiocytosis (LCH) early this year.
LCH is a rare, cancer-like disease that causes the body to produce too many immature Langerhans cells, which, when built up, can cause tumors to form while also damaging tissue, bones and organs.
In February, the Halls noticed that James began suffering from a string of ear infections, and, despite numerous treatments from specialists, the infections persisted.
Fast-forward three months to May, Nate noticed swelling on James’ temple, prompting a CT scan that revealed a four-centimeter tumor and the start of a long series of hospital stays and surgeries.
James’ current treatment plan consists of a year of chemotherapy and a laundry list of at-home medications. Given LCH’s impact on the body, James’ immune system can easily be compromised, meaning even a simple illness like the common cold will likely result in a hospital stay.
“We just spent four days in the hospital in Iowa City due to high fevers and neutropenia, caused by the chemo. Since his diagnosis on May 19, 2021, we have spent many nights in the hospital,” Ashley said. “James is a normal, happy toddler for the most part, but chemo has been really rough these last few rounds.”
Given the situation, the Halls have also decided to pull James out of daycare, forcing Ashley to work from home part-time to keep an eye on him.
It comes as no surprise that the treatments and hospital stays have resulted in some financial difficulty, but one local organization is stepping up to help fill in the gaps.
On Sunday, Sept. 12, the 35th Annual New Vienna Benefit Tractor Pull will donate proceeds to the Hall family while providing the public a chance to hear the roar of revved-up engines and see the awesome power that can only be witnessed during a kid’s pedal tractor pull.
The event, which has a rain date of Sept. 19, will also feature a live and silent auction, bake sale and lunch will be available.
Organizers say the event will start at 10:30 a.m. sharp and will take place just south of the ball diamond, adding that if you are driving through New Vienna, it will be almost impossible to miss.
Those interested in donating or volunteering should contact Holly Ludovissy (970-210-1656) or Kerry Roeder (875-3133) and for questions regarding the tractor pull Mike Kluesner (563-590-9410) or Dave Bonert (563-590-2885)
Even though the benefit is still days away, Ashley said their family has felt touched by the sheer amount of people already out there wanting to help.
“This event hasn’t even taken place yet, and we have been so overwhelmed with the support and generosity of people in the Dyersville and other area surrounding communities,” Ashley said. “This benefit is going to help us stress less about the financial part of James’ diagnosis.”