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Killeen boy beats cancer after near 4-year battle

AJ Patterson was able to ring the bell signifying his last chemotherapy treatment, with the support of the community by his side.

KILLEEN, Texas — AJ Patterson was diagnosed with Very High Risk B-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at 2 years old, and today he received his final chemotherapy treatment. 

"Its amazing because he has been such a fighter through all of this," said Andrea Patterson AJ's mom. "Hes been dealing with this since hes two years old."

Tonight AJ was able to ring that coveted "cancer free" bell, but in unusual fashion. "Normally you get to ring the bell at the clinic [McLane Children's in Temple] but because of COVID we couldn't bring family and friends in there," said Andrea.

Both AJ's mom and the pastor from his church Amanda Carroll wanted AJ to have an experience ringing the bell, and thought a parade would be an exciting way to celebrate. 

"I actually had tears welling up in my eyes," said Gabi Castelli AJ's aunt. "Seeing all these people who don't even know AJ come and show this much support for one little boy its beautiful." 

Dozens of people lined his street in Killeen with gifts and posters and celebrated with him as he proudly rang that bell loud and proud.

While the support of the church and Killeen community meant everything to their family, the fact that Andy Patterson, AJ's dad was present was even more special. "I just got back from Korea actually so I could be here to do this with my son," said Andy Patterson. 

"Its awesome we didn't know if he would be here with COVID," said Andrea. "But hes here and I have God to thank for that."

AJ who says he has superhero powers and Spider-man blood is an inspiration to people of all ages. "He makes us realize that our bad days aren't really that bad," said Carroll. "We can push through anything cause he did."