By Sanford Children's Hospital

On his 7th birthday, Ben was supposed to be home in Madison, S.D., celebrating his special day with friends and family. Instead, he was in a hospital bed at Sanford Children's undergoing treatment for leukemia.

Just two weeks earlier, Ben woke up with a headache, fever and stomach pain. Later that day – after an ambulance ride to Sanford Children's Hospital in Sioux Falls and seeing a stream of doctors – Ben was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

"The night after he was diagnosed was the longest ever," said Ben's mom, Carrie.

Since that day, Ben's been fighting his cancer hard, like a kid. "Ben has taken all of this in stride," Carrie said. "Nothing stops him."

Ben spent the next 24 days in the hospital, including his birthday, but thanks to Sanford Children’s Cure Kids Cancer donors, his stay was the best it could be.

They helped purchase lifesaving equipment and technology, assisted the family with costs not covered by insurance and supported the Child Life Specialists, who threw Ben a WrestleMania-themed party – celebrating his all-time favorite sport.

"They have made our lives a lot easier," Carrie said. "We just know that they're behind us, supporting us, all the time."

“Ben is so happy and active. He really is an amazing boy," Carrie said. "We feel so blessed, because he makes this journey easy."