Hope, Strength, and Healing for families coping with a child cancer diagnosis

Meet Keaton’s Kiddo ~ Kenzie

Kenzie celebrated her 3rd birthday on January 24th. Four days later, her life was forever change when she was diagnosed with Stage 4 Hepatoblastoma. An aggressive tumor in her liver was identified and treatment consisting of 6 cycles of chemotherapy began immediately.

With successful chemo, the liver tumor began to decrease in size giving hope that the tumor could be completely removed while leaving enough healthy liver to regenerate. During scans, three new tumors were found in her lungs, one small on the right lobe and two small on the left lobe. Thankfully specialized clinical trials caused the lung tumors to go away completely which avoided an additional major surgery. During this time, we were glad to offer a financial grant to the family to assist with several new expenses.

After spending nearly a month in the hospital upon diagnosis, Kenzie was finally able to go home momentarily. “We truly enjoyed each minute with our warrior princess while at home. We are really thankful that her side effects from chemo were barely minimum. She has a good appetite and always excited to play with her brother,” Mom shares. Other good news included that Kenzie does not need hearing aids. Hearing loss is a common side effect of the cisplatin chemotherapy medication. “Wow, best news we have gotten in a long time.”

In preparation for Kenzie’s surgery at UCSF, we visited the family to deliver their customized Hope Chest along with gas cards to assist with the commute from Elk Grove to San Francisco. “Thank you so much Keaton’s Child Cancer Alliance. Big smiles were all over our house last week when we received a gift care package from you. Kenzie was very happy and felt the love as she approach her surgery. The gifts were full of fun things including a personalized blanket for Kenzie and also fun gifts for her brother.” We were so thrilled Kenzie enjoyed some of her favorites which include playing house, tea parties, puzzles, Frozen, Paw Patrol, Peppa Pig, and Baby Shark.

Kenzie underwent a 7 hour surgery to remove her tumor and it is with great joy we share that she is healing very well. We continue to offer support to this beautiful warrior princess and her sweet family. “We salute your mission Keaton’s Child Cancer Alliance. We are very grateful. Thank you Keaton’s for thinking of our family. We can’t thank you enough for all the support. God bless you all, Love – Lacayanga Family”

Meet Keaton’s Kiddo – Ellora

Months before a clear diagnosis, Ellora was experiencing a loss of appetite, night sweats, and oversleeping. For Ellora, these symptoms were seen as normal for her or seen as natural changes in the growth of a 2-year-old. Eventually, she developed little spots on her hands and unexplained bruises on her body, which the doctors deemed Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), but after seeing an informative TikTok video on the symptoms Ellora was experiencing, her mom’s gut told her it was something more than a bleeding disorder.

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Meet Keaton’s Kiddo – Samerah

14-year-old Samerah, best known as Sam has been battling quite the challenging journey, but with the love and support of her family, friends, and community she has been able to overcome so much. At the very young age of 2 months old, Sam was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis. Neurofibromatosis is not an isolated disorder. It causes several different conditions and can lead to the development of tumors on the brain, spine, and the nerves that send signals between the brain and spinal cord.

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Meet Keaton’s Kiddo – Pedro

Strong and optimistic Keaton’s Kiddo Pedro has a heart for soccer and music, and he absolutely loves Chick-Fil-A! Being a teen at just 14 years old, Pedro was sadly diagnosed with a brain tumor called Juvenile Pilocytic Astrocytoma. Hear about Pedro’s journey from his point of view.

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