West Point fans show support for Brewer student diagnosed with leukemia

The West Point fans who traveled to Brewer for the Warriors’ game on Oct. 21 wore orange to show their support for Brewer student Lincoln Kallas who was recently diagnosed with leukemia. (Bill Piper/The Cullman Tribune)

SOMERVILLE, Ala. – The West Point Warriors traveled to Brewer to take on the Patriots Oct. 21 and there was a play-off spot was on the line, but what happened in the stands was far more impactful. That was certainly the case for Brewer student Lincoln Kallas, who was diagnosed with leukemia a week before the game. The West Point fans who traveled to the game were there to show the support for their Warriors, but they also wanted to show their support for Kallas and his family.  

Kallas’ mom, Andrea, quickly got emotional when she saw the West Point crowd wearing neon orange in support of her son. 

“I stay with Lincoln Sunday through Friday and my husband takes over on the weekends. I came home a little early on Friday to surprise my two other kids at the pep rally, then we went to the game. When I walked into the game and saw all of the orange on the West Point side, I just started crying. The fact that the West Point parents/fans put the competition of the game aside and showed support for my son meant the world to us! When Lincoln saw the pictures on social media, he cried. He said, ‘Mom, I didn’t know I was this loved,'” she said. “This has been one of the most difficult times in our lives. My heart just breaks for my son. But seeing all of the orange and the support of others who do not even know our family lifted our spirits. And I am so thankful, knowing we have so many people praying for my sweet Lincoln and our entire family.” 

Kallas’ mom talked about her son’s condition and how’s he doing right now. 

“He was diagnosed with T-Cell Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia at Huntsville Hospital on Oct. 14. He was taken via ambulance to St. Jude, and we got there at 4 a.m. two days later. He had his port placed and spinal chemotherapy done on Oct. 18 (along with more chemotherapy done that night and, on the 19th). By the next day, he had Tumor Lysis Syndrome, where a large number of cancer cells were dying within a short period of time and were releasing their contents into the blood. They took him into emergency surgery to have a groin catheter placed; he was moved to ICU and put on dialysis because his kidneys were not looking good. He was taken off of that machine on the 23rd,” she said. “We got out of the hospital four days ago and got moved to the Ronald McDonald House about three minutes away. We come in about every day during the week for blood work, transfusion, spinal chemotherapy, IV chemotherapy, etc. We have been here today since 8:15 a.m. and he is getting his last chemotherapy now. He is doing well overall. His kidneys were looking better after dialysis. They will watch to see if there is any permanent damage. Right now, he is just dealing with bad reflux and some neuropathy from the chemo.” 

One of Kallas’ friends is hosting a very special fishing tournament, and some other students are helping design shirts and some other merchandise to help support him. 

“I don’t even have the words to express how blessed we are with the support we have received. I took my two other kids to the local gas station on the 22nd. The lady there was talking about Brewer and West Point in their orange, and she said she had never seen communities coming together like this. The support and prayers are what’s holding us together right now,” his mom said. “One of his friends, Cody Brooks, is on the Brewer fishing team with Lincoln and he’s putting on a Pond Fishing Tournament on Nov. 5. Southern Sophistication does lots of uniforms and shirts for Brewer; they’ve been selling ‘Lincoln Strong’ shirts with some of the students’ help making them. A member of the community is also selling ‘Lincoln Strong’ bracelets.” 

She added, “There are also several fishing groups that are putting on events for him. His ag teacher, Josh Melson, who is a youth pastor, had a prayer meeting the night he got diagnosed at our church. There were so many students there. I have had many teachers give me some of their vacation days to help me so I can be paid while off with Lincoln the remainder of the year- such a blessing! Some of the most special things that he’s received are a large homemade card signed by his fellow 10th graders. The FBLA at our school also made a large binder full of letters from students from all grades. He loved those! They have also made care packages of his favorite things.” 

Andrea Kallas offered advice to other parents of children fighting cancer.  

“I knew that having hope and faith are what would guide us through this journey,” she said. “We’ve had some lot of prayer warriors out there and they bring us peace. I would also tell them to find those parents going through your journey and hold close to them.”