Leukemia and Lymphoma Program
Patient Stories | Timothy Hennessey

At 3, a Leukemia Patient; At 20, a Healthy, Soon-to-Be College Grad

Timothy Hennessey has a remarkable history of overcoming challenges. Next up: A career in cyber security. 

Timothy was 3 years old when he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Receiving a cancer diagnosis at such a young age is frightening, but Timothy and his family never gave up hope. He received treatment at Cincinnati Children’s and eventually, after five years in remission, officially became a long-term cancer survivor.

When we first met 10-year-old Timothy, he was living life to the fullest, playing sports like tennis and basketball and playing the Irish fiddle at local Celtic festivals. Today, he remains cancer-free and is on track to graduate from Cincinnati State Technical and Community College in summer 2019. He has since put down the fiddle, but picked up an interest in computers and cyber security. 

“I’ve always liked computers. And then I found out networking is more hands- on, rather than just sitting at a computer all day. I like the more technical aspects of the actual hardware,” said Timothy. 

He will graduate with an associate degree in computer network engineering, with a focus in cyber security. Timothy, 20, hopes to then get a full-time job and continue his education at Northern Kentucky University’s College of Informatics. He currently works a co-op job with Catholic Charities of Southwest Ohio as an IT support technician.

When he’s not studying or working, Timothy enjoys playing pick-up sports like basketball with his friends and is a member of both a softball team and a bowling league. 

He still comes to clinic at Cincinnati Children’s once a year for a check-up and blood work. 

"They run tests and confirm that everything is good. Pretty basic stuff,” he said.

He stays busy every day and no longer thinks of himself as a patient, let alone a “cancer-survivor.” 

“I was 3 years old when I was diagnosed. I remember being in the hospital for a while and stuff like that. But I don’t think of it all that often,” said Timothy. “I know I used to have cancer, but other than that I’m a pretty normal person.”

(Updated November 2018)

Tim Hennessey.

Timothy Hennessey, 20, will graduate college with an associate degree in computer network engineering, with a focus in cyber security.

Timothy playing the fiddle.

Timothy, 10, playing the fiddle.