Corbin Johnson sat in the auditorium Wednesday morning among his classmates to listen to Cook’s Children’s Hospital child life specialist, Laura Sonefield, discuss Aplastic Anemia.
Diagnosed with the condition in 6th grade, 13-year-old Corbin never expected to have gained popularity among his peers this way.
“It means a lot to me. It really does,” Corbin said. “Not everyone knew me, but now more people do. It makes me excited and nervous all at the same time.”
Aplastic Anemia is a blood disorder in which the body’s bone marrow does not produce new blood cells.
This condition has kept Corbin homebound and hospitalized since early 2014.
Sonefield has been working with Corbin since the beginning of his diagnosis. She says her job includes visiting Corbin often and normalizing this process for him.
“A big part of this is helping students understand,” Sonefield said. “A lot of time elementary students and middle school student fantasize about what is going on when they don’t have answers. When Corbin is able to come back to school, support from his classmates will help him be able to transition back into the school setting.”
Corbin is currently being taught at home by 7th grade English instructor, Erica Adams.
She has never had Corbin in any of her classes, but looks forward to the opportunities she gets to work with him each week.
“From the first time that I met Corbin, I have continually been amazed at how optimistic he is,” Adams said. “Even when he has to get platelets, is running a fever and is very fatigued, he trudges on, works hard on school work and is delightful to be around. I have learned a great deal from him and his outlook on life.”
She says English students are researching the disease and reading stories about people who have overcome Aplastic Anemia in order to learn what Corbin is going through.
To rally support from the community, Argyle Independent School District will be hosting “Corbin’s Carnival” on Saturday, Oct. 25, from 4 to 8 p.m.
Various books with bake sales, silent auctions, games and more will be inside the Argyle High School cafeteria and gym. Concessions will also be available.
The district encourages everyone in the DFW area to attend.
“It is important for the community to support and participate in various fund raisers for Corbin and his family,” Adams said. “You never know what your giving can do for this family in need.”
More information regarding “Corbin’s Carnival” will be published soon.
Brianna Vela is a public relations intern with the Argyle Independent School District.