Northwest Arkansas boy battles cancer & COVID-19

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Already considered high-risk for COVID-19, he now has to delay life-saving cancer treatments.

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A 10-year-old boy is already in a battle with cancer, and now he’s facing the coronavirus as well.

COURTESY OF JEREMY DUCKWORTH

10-year-old Riley Duckworth was diagnosed with leukemia a couple of months ago.

“People at the playground we’re making fun of me because I was super slow and I was just getting tired so quickly,” Riley said.

On Tuesday, April 14, Riley was diagnosed with COVID-19.

We just take the news and do the best we can, we will be alright — but it doesn’t make things easy.

JEREMY DUCKWORTH, RILEY’S DAD

Riley’s dad, Jeremy Duckworth, said the two are quarantined at Arkansas Children’s Northwest Hospital in Springdale.

“We cannot leave the room, not even to get food or anything,” he said.

COURTESY OF JEREMY DUCKWORTH

They are stuck there until Riley’s blood counts recover.

“We like to watch tv,” Riley said. “I am about to play a card game with him (Jeremy) and I play Beyblades,” Riley said.

As they pass the time in quarantine, Riley’s treatments continue to get pushed back.

COURTESY OF JEREMY DUCKWORTH

“It’s going to delay his chemo for sure,” Jeremy said. “We don’t know what effects that will have, but hopefully it’ll be minimal.”

It’s a scary time, but the Duckworths said the thing that keeps them hopeful, is thinking about all of the things Riley will get to do when he gets better.

“I’ve been wanting to go camping,” Riley said with a smile.

Below is a statement from Arkansas Children’s:

Arkansas Children’s places the safety of patients, team members and families above all else, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our hospitals and clinics are practicing or exceeding CDC guidelines for all screening, testing and admission standards related to COVID-19. Public safety and health priorities and what is best for each individual patient are at the heart of Arkansas Children’s processes and decisions each day. 

HILARY DEMILLO, ACH MEDIA RELATIONS MANGER

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