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

Meet Keaton’s Kiddo – Aynara

Meet Keatons’s Kiddo Aynara, an adorable 4-year-old that loves coloring, Peppa Pig, Paw Patrol, reading Monster’s Inc books, and especially loves caring for her countless amount of dolls!

On January 25, 2021, Aynara’s life unexpectedly changed when she was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), the most common form of pediatric cancer. Keaton’s was first introduced to Aynara when her and her mom surprised us with a special visit, seeking support and a friendly face to talk to. On the spot, our Family Navigator team was able to read to and color with Aynara, while providing her mom with some respite to share about their journey and get to know their family. With a listening ear, Keaton’s team validated any worries and experiences that mom has had, while also actively listening for room to support. With that, Aynara enjoyed her time with our Family Navigators, which she now refers to as her “babysitters,” and was officially referred to our program.

Learning that Aynara has a 4 hour round trip commute between her home and treatment hospital, Keaton’s immediately offered travel solutions and supplied Aynara’s family with gas cards upon their visit. With Aynara’s mom taking her to inpatient stays and outpatient appointments often, she is unable to work, but uses the opportunity to devote all of her love and care to Aynara and her siblings throughout their family’s battle. Since being diagnosed, Aynara’s family has experienced many unexpected financial needs, and to offer our care, Keaton’s presented Aynara’s mom and dad with a financial grant through our Financial Assistance Program, so that they could focus on their daughter’s treatment with a little less stress.

Since our initial visit, we have welcomed Aynara and her mom back to our office to receive a special joy-filled Hope Chest after a long stay at the hospital. Knowing Aynara’s love for dolls, our Family Navigators made sure to include a toy set of dolls, along with a special snuggle blanket, some books, and other goodies for her to take home. After seeing her Hope Chest, Aynara lit up with so much joy and excitement, and just couldn’t wait! She immediately opened the box with dolls in our office, and our team had a great time helping her care for them. After a couple of hours of fun and play, our team made sure to send Aynara and her mom home with some gas cards for their long commute home and personalized Hope Chests for her two older brothers to remind them of the amazing role they play in Aynara’s journey.

Keaton’s is committed to providing love and care to all childhood cancer families we cross paths with. We are honored to continue the support of families, like Aynara’s, to bring them joy and comfort throughout their unexpected journeys.

Meet Keaton’s Kiddo – MJ

May of 2021 started like any other month. Our family was enjoying the warm weather and spending time with friends and family. Unfortunately, May was the month that our world would change in a way we never expected.

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Meet Keaton’s Kiddo – Yazmine

During the week of July 17th, 2023, Yazmine hadn’t been herself.  She’d been running fevers on and off and wasn’t eating.  She had no energy and only wanted to sleep.  Then, on July 19th, her dad’s birthday, we decided that I would take her to the ER for a quick check up and be back in time to make a birthday dinner.  Little did we know everything would change on that day.  

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Meet Keaton’s Kiddo – Kodiak

In the Fall of 2023, Keaton’s Kiddo Kodiak was diagnosed with two rare and aggressive forms of cancer: Mixed Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) and Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) also known as ‘preleukemia.’

Their journey began one year earlier, in the Fall of 2022, when Kodiak was struck with a series of different seasonal illnesses. Kodiak’s mom Tonya shares: “In September, he got COVID, and then in November it was the flu, and then December RSV.”

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