Tate Long 12-year-old, 7th grade from Medina, Ohio
Tate was diagnosed with Neutropenia at 16 months. After all the illnesses and unexplained fevers, we were relieved to have an answer. Starting G-CSF was not only lifesaving, it provided a “normal life.” He does well, though he has had several stays at the hospital over the years. Although he doesn’t like those episodes at the time, now he says when he thinks about them, they actually make him feel special and strong because he can get through them and get back to normal. Although Tate would probably like a cure, he is much more focused on having a pill someday because a pill would make him feel even more normal.
Last year Tate started middle school, which meant making new friends and sharing his condition with new people. Because of COVID, he wanted people to understand that he wore a mask at school all year because he knows what it’s like to be immunocompromised and thinks it is important to protect other people. Also because of COVID, hanging out with friends in the evenings and having sleepovers was new. Since Tate does his shot at night, he had to learn how to navigate and make sure neutropenia didn’t interfere with having a normal life.
As an ambassador, Tate would like to create a gaming community with other kids with neutropenia because he feels like what has helped him the most is just knowing other kids have the same condition. It makes you feel less different. If interested, have a parent contact his parent to share usernames. [email protected].