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

Keaton Kiddos – Sierra

Keaton Kid - SierraSierra Age 18 Diagnosis:

Ovarian Cancer – “I got to pay for my first semester of college with my scholarship from Keaton Raphael Memorial!”

Sierra told her story to over a hundred people last year as the winner of Keaton Raphael Memorial’s John McLean Scholarship Award given at the annual Chipping Away at Childhood Cancer charity golf tournament. She is an inspiration to all that day and her story continues to touch people’s hearts every time it’s told.

At the age of 14, on August 18, 2010, Sierra was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer, this was the day her whole life changed and went in a downward spiral. During surgery they removed a tumor the size of a volleyball from her stomach area and after a five day stay Sierra was overjoyed to be going home. Four months later she began chemotherapy and as of July 6,2012  we are proud to announce, Sierra is cancer free and has headed off to Sierra College using her scholarship money.

“Having gone through this experience it has taught me so many lessons, especially how to appreciate life and enjoy every second and every day.”

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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