Mitchell Turner dies at 2, his struggle with cancer followed by many

Mitchell Bays Turner, a 2-year-old whose battle with childhood leukemia was chronicled by his mother, Meg McElwain, on a Charlotte Observer website for parents, died Sunday.

Mitchell had acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a rare cancer that is more common in children than adults. Doctors said Mitchell carried a gene that makes the cancer more likely to mutate and multiply faster than normal.

On Sunday, his mother blogged about a turn for the worse. Doctors were preparing Mitchell to be transported to Duke University Medical Center with large amounts of fluid in his body, and his organs were struggling, she wrote.

Sunday afternoon, before requesting privacy and thanking people for prayers and support, McElwain wrote: “Mitchell Bays Turner is now among the angels. Listen closely and you will hear them rejoicing as he enters the gates of Heaven.”

McElwain, the owner of Magnolia Marketing, is a Rotary Club of Charlotte member and had been named one of Charlotte’s 50 most influential women by The Mecklenburg Times. Her blog on the Observer’s Moms Charlotte site – she sometimes posted several times a day – was followed by many.

Her family attends Myers Park United Methodist Church. McElwain and her husband, Frank Turner III, saw the first signs of Mitchell’s cancer as they were changing him out of his baptismal gown in June 2012.

A memorial service is planned for 2 p.m. Wednesday at Myers Park United Methodist, according to a post on McElwain’s Facebook page. Hankins & Whittington Funeral Home in Charlotte is handling the arrangements. Staff writer Jen Rothacker contributed.

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