Ace Pringle, a first-grader at Pacific Beach Elementary, was recently diagnosed with leukemia.
It all started when his mother, Amber Pringle, noticed that her son went pale during his soccer game. Ace wasn’t feeling well and had a fever, and his parents, thinking he maybe had the flu or a common cold, took him to the doctor. His general practitioner and emergency room doctors assumed Ace had a virus, but his fever persisted. After visiting the doctor four times in five days, the doctors ran blood tests on Ace. That night, the Pringle family learned that Ace had leukemia.
“It came back that Ace had what’s called MPAL or multiple phenotype acute leukemia,” says Ace’s father and UC San Diego graduate, John Pringle. “It’s a very rare type of leukemia. Only 2-3% of leukemias are MPAL, and it’s difficult to treat.”
“He’s been taking it OK,” says John on a phone call from the hospital on his son’s 12th day of chemotherapy. “He’s been in the hospital for three weeks. He’s missing his family and his friends — his friends from school, his friends from the neighborhood.”
And Ace’s friends miss him, too. When he was diagnosed, his classmates made him get-well-soon cards. Some of his friends even came by the hospital to visit. Ace’s first-grade teacher, referring to Ace as “the light of the classroom,” misses his positivity. Ace will enroll in homeschool for the next six months. His parents plan for him to go back to Pacific Beach Elementary in the fall.
In order to properly take care of Ace, both John and Amber have put their careers on hold. John was driving for Uber as an independent contractor, and Amber had her own cleaning business. Now, the couple “takes shifts” between staying at the hospital with Ace and staying at home with Ace’s 2-year-old brother, Crue.
Ace’s diagnosis has complicated the Pringle family’s holiday season, but they are amazed by how much support they have received from the community.
“We’ve certainly had a lot of support from friends, family, and the community,” says John. “It’s been great. We’ve had lots of support from neighbors and people from Ace’s school and soccer team.”
The Pringles are thankful for their community which has come together and supported a family who needs it the most.
“People have offered to buy all of our Christmas presents, and we’ve had people bring by food,” says John. “We’ve really seen so much support from the community, family, and friends.”
‘Tis the season of giving. Consider supporting Ace Pringle and his family by donating on the GoFundMe page at gofundme.com/f/ace-pringle-leukemia-fundraiser.