MARTINSBURG, W.Va. ? Six-year-old Thomas Lathwell is beginning to realize he's different, according to his mother, Cindy Lathwell of Hedgesville, W.Va.
But the youngster's roller-coasterlike battle with leukemia since February 2003 hasn't changed his character.
"He's still smiling, a happy kid," Lathwell said last week.
But her son still is fighting the battle.
After having a relapse in June 2006, her son received bone marrow from his older brother, Nicholas, 9, in September at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.
"He's been through a whole lot," Lathwell said of Thomas.
And so have Lathwell, her husband, Kevin, and their seven other children. And it's not over yet.
"If he can make it two years, they'll pretty much consider him out of the woods," Cindy Lathwell said.
Now, his hair is growing back after radiation treatments, but the boy still gets tired quickly, she said.
"There was a point where he couldn't get out of bed," Lathwell said.