UPDATE: Spokane Man Battling Leukemia Passes Away - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

UPDATE: Spokane Man Battling Leukemia Passes Away

Posted: Updated:
SPOKANE, Wash. - UPDATE: 
KHQ received word that Leland Johnson passed away on Tuesday after his battle with Leukemia. Leland's wife posted on the "Pray for Leland" Facebook page: 
"New post up. Lee is in Heaven. He was amazing. So proud to be his wife, the mother of his adorable daughter and the widow to his God filled spirit. Rest on peace Lee, you earned it."

KHQ Local News Reporter Lindsay Nadrich was at Leland's home on Saturday when neighbors, friends and family greeted the Johnson family home from their trip to Disneyland. Leland was in Seattle battling Leukemia for the third time recently when he was told the treatments were not working and nothing else could be done. The Johnson's decided before they returned home to Spokane for the last time, they would take a family trip to Disneyland to create as many memories as they could. They returned from Disneyland on Saturday, and Leland passed away on Tuesday. 

Judging by the reception Lee received upon his return home, it is clear he touched many lives and will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with the Johnson family at this time.

Previous Coverage: 

SPOKANE, Wash. – After being away from home for months because of cancer treatments, one Spokane man came home to neighbors, friends, and family cheering with signs and balloons Saturday afternoon. Leland Johnson is now battling Leukemia for the third time and until recently was in Seattle receiving treatment. Recently though, Leland was told the treatments are not working, so Saturday the community came together to make sure he had a special welcome home to show this courageous fighter, he is not going through this battle alone.

“We just want him to be moved by this whole thing and just show that they have the support and we just really respect the fight they've had,” said one of Leland’s brothers.


“They're doing the best they can, so we're going to make sure the time that they do have is special,” said Dave Hanshaw, a friend of Leland’s.

They want to make it special, because time is one thing not on their side. Recently, Leland was told his cancer was back for a third time.

“Lee's been fighting cancer for a long time and found out it's going to end up taking him,” Hanshaw said.

With not many treatment options left for his Leukemia, Leland and his family have decided to enjoy the time they do have.

“We just decided to come home and get as much time as we can,” Leland Johnson said.

One of his goals was to take his daughter to Disneyland, which they were able to do before coming home Saturday. However, one of the hardest things is watching his daughter understand what is going on.

“While we were over in Seattle, she was crying one night and I asked what is she crying about? She said that well, the coyotes got Mac (the family’s cat) and Mac went to heaven and I'll never see him again,” Leland said. “She was saying, I don't want cancer to take you to heaven because I wouldn't be able to see you ever again.”

However, while he is still fighting, family and friends will continue to make sure he knows he is loved and supported.

“It was an awesome experience,” Leland said. “Until something like this happens, you never know how many lives you've touched.”

Through his battle, there is also a life lesson he has learned, everyone should know.

“My thing is, you look at the big picture and the little things that make you upset, you just realize you got a beautiful family with you and confide in them and cherish what you got,” Leland said.

If you would like to help the family financially, they have a benefit account with STCU here locally, it #276537 Leland B Johnson Benefit Fund.

If you would like to hear more of Leland’s story he has a Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pray-for-Leland/363684643721123 and a page on Caring Bridge: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/lelandjohnson
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