Superhero Andrew, 2 years old, loves to play and get into trouble with his twin brother, Alex. He loves to watch Thomas the Train and eat delicious spaghetti. Although he may seem shy, Andrew is a very sweet, kind boy.
In December 2014, Andrew’s parents noticed that something was different about his left eye. Initially, pink eye was determined as the cause. However, Andrew’s eye began to swell and “stick out.” After seeking a second opinion, a CT scan revealed a 4.5cm mass that was pressing against his optical socket and pituitary gland. Andrew was rushed to Kaiser Oakland PICU to complete an MRI and a biopsy. In January 2015, one-year-old Andrew was diagnosed with Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma Stage IV.
“Andrew started losing his hair during treatment, and Andrew’s four-year-old brother asked me Why?,” said Andrew’s Mom. “I explained that some of the medications that Andrew was taking were having that effect on him. Andrew’s brother said to me, I don’t want his hair to fall out, and I could not handle it anymore, and I started crying. Then the unbelievable happened, my four-year-old was comforting me with a hug and telling me, “Mommy, Andrew is going to be ok because God is with him.” Then I cried even more, but it was pure joy that even my four-year-old could express that with words.”
On February 1, 2016, Andrew completed his 54 weeks of chemotherapy and 24 sessions of proton beam radiation. Andrew was brave, resilient, and perseverant throughout his year-long treatment. His parents say ‘hope’ allows the family to stay strong, as well as the amazing energy of their son. The family hopes to return to normalcy and pick up where they left off.
“We thank Keaton Raphael Memorial for your support, kindness, and generosity. My family and I will always appreciate what you’ve done for baby Andrew. I remember the first time I heard from your foundation. Andrew received a big box full of gifts (educational toys, blankets, hats). That gift was a message to our hearts. We also received a $500 check that helped us so much to cover some expenses, specially gas and food while at the hospital,” said Andrew’s Mom. “As we approach this new stage of treatment, Proton Therapy in San Diego, you bless us with $250 in gas cards! We appreciate that you have been with us every step of the way!! We believe Andrew is on his way to recovery (scans confirm this, too) and we will be eternally grateful for all of your support.”
Give a gift today to help children like Andrew and their families by DONATING HERE to Keaton Raphael Memorial. Because kids can’t fight cancer alone!