Acute lymphocytic leukemia: Joshua's story

Apr 13, 2010 at 9:53 p.m. ET

"Mom, I think I know why God gave me this disease..."

Josh has a perspective that many adults will never obtain. This became apparent when, at age 7, he turned to his mom and said, "Mom, I think I know why God gave me this disease. I think one day there's going to be a little boy … who has no hair and cancer. I'm going to tell him, 'it's going to hurt a whole bunch, but it's going to be okay.'"

Josh was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia right before his seventh birthday.

His painful treatment included 40 months of chemotherapy at Phoenix Children's Hospital. He faced numerous complications, including a fungal infection in his lungs. He was even placed in a drug-induced coma, relying on machines to breathe for him.

But Josh fought through the whole ordeal with the help of his family, including younger brother, Elijah, and his golden doodle, Otis. Now 10, Josh uses his story to inspire others. "Joshua and Friends," a fundraising team headed by Joshua and his family, raised nearly $100,000 in just two years for leukemia research.