SHERMAN, Texas (KTEN) — Almost 3,000 children in the United States are diagnosed with the most common cancer of childhood — acute lymphoblastic leukemia, or ALL — every year.

Henry Willeford received that diagnosis in 2021.

"Unfortunately for him, he had the more rare type of ALL — something called Philadelphia chromosome ALL — which is only about 3 percent of children with ALL," explained Children's Health pediatric hematologist/oncologist Dr. Tamra Slone.

Henry started treatment at Children's Health in Plano, Texas with Dr. Slone, who would soon become an important part of the Willefords lives over the next two years and beyond.

"She walked in the room and introduced herself to us," recalled Lindsay Willeford, Henry's mom. "My husband and I both just kind of said, 'He's in the best hands.'"

Dr. Slone was with Henry while he battled cancer, enduring 199 days in the hospital, 100 blood transfusions and 24 spinal taps.

In November 2022, the Willefords found out they'd be adding a new member to their family, and they didn't have to look far to find her name.

"Craig and I just looked at each other, and I said, you know, 'What about Slone?' And he said, 'Yup, that's it.' That was the only conversation we had," Willeford said.

"There's not really words to describe what that means to me," Dr. Slone said.

Henry finished two years of cancer treatment just five days after baby Slone was born. Later that month, he got to ring the bell signaling the end of his medical battle.

"It's one of the important parts of this whole journey is being able to ring the bell, and that's such a big thing for him," Dr. Slone recalled. "Our whole team was there, and I actually was holding Slone. It was just amazing in itself, because that was the first time I met Slone."

Life after ringing the bell signified the Willefords' greatest with for Henry: The life of a healthy boy.

"He's been spending the last year just getting back to being a little boy, and doing all the little boy things that he missed over the two years prior," Lindsay Willeford said.

Henry is getting ready to celebrate his eighth birthday on Saturday, and will start second grade in the fall at Sory Elementary.