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

Keaton Kiddos- Mason

photo2At age 2 a child should be running wild after discovering their legs move faster than a crawling pace but instead Mason spends his time in and out of hospital beds. This small but courageous fighter is currently taking on the biggest battle of his life and you would never know by that smile on his face.

Mason was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma in October 2013.

It all began one day when Mason fell off a bike that was too big for him and never recovered. He had bruises that were getting worse instead of better and 3 days later, his family noticed that Mason didn’t want to walk. His mother took him to the doctor and he was sent to ER where they gave Mason an x-ray, which showed an anomaly. A decision to do a CAT scan was made and a tumor was found, stretching from diaphragm to sternum and wrapping itself like a hand around his spine. The cancer was nearly in his bone marrow and if it had been diagnosed a week later, the doctors said they wouldn’t have been able to treat him. The family was in the ER for about six hours that fateful Friday. It felt like days as they found out something was wrong, then really wrong and then life threatening.from then their lives changed forever…….

Since his diagnoses, Mason has completed 5 chemotherapy sessions and is getting ready for an upcoming surgery to remove the tumor that stretches from his diaphragm to the sternum and is wrapped along his spine. Post-surgery, Mason will spend 6 weeks in UCSF for a stem cell transplant followed by several additional months of chemotherapy and radiation.

Unfortunately Mason’s illness is not the first crisis the family has faced together. A daughter, born in 2009, died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.  When Mason was born, his parents were terrified for the first year of his life and relieved to make it past the SIDS stage only to find themselves face to face with another worst nightmare- Childhood Cancer.

If you are interested in helping Mason and his family in particular please contact our family navigator at 916-757-6134

Items requested from family include: Gas cards, Starbucks cards, Easy Restaurant Gift Cards, or Ready Made Meals.

The family has also coordinated “Run for Mason” on Saturday, May 31st in Folsom, http://www.theyoungandbrave.com/events/run-for-mason/



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.”

Read More ›

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.

Read More ›

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.

Read More ›