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

Meet Keaton Kiddo ~ Kenneth

Meet Kenneth! Kenneth is a strong and bright 14-year old who was referred to Keaton’s back in 2018.  After being diagnosed with Malignant Thymoma, a cancer that occurs when cancer cells form on the outside surface of the thymus, Kenneth has put up a strong fight against cancer.  Following a previous surgery in 2019, Kenneth, unfortunately, developed fluid in his lungs and was placed into the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).  Thankfully, he was able to recover and continued his treatment of radiation and chemotherapy at both Kaiser Oakland, and locally at Kaiser Roseville.  Eventually, Kenneth became well enough to go back to school and even attended a Kings Game, last July, that was coordinated on behalf of The Golden One Center and Keaton’s Child Cancer Alliance.

After some time had passed, in May of 2020, the Family Navigator Team at Keaton’s received devastating news that Kenneth was in hospice.  We reached out to the family and learned that the family was in, what mom called, a “strange beautifully weird space”.  While Kenneth was in hospice, the family was preparing for a transition to their journey, as Kenneth was not expected to breathe on his own without a supporting tube.  Once the tube was removed, the family was overjoyed and more than thankful to see that Kenneth continued breathing on his own.  Following their miracle, the family prepared for a surgery to remove a tumor from Kenneth’s left lung.  Before the surgery, tests were conducted and the Medical Team found that Kenneth’s tumor had shrunk and there was no longer a need for surgery or removal.

During a recent follow-up call, Kenneth’s family shared the unfortunate news that Kenneth recently began to experience some pain and after consulting with his medical team, Kenneth learned that his tumor has begun to increase in size.  His family has also been facing many challenges from COVID-19 and effects from the fires in Napa County.  Despite all that he and his family are facing, they are all so thankful that Kenneth is back home and staying as active as possible. Kenneth’s mom touched on how much he enjoys practicing dribbling his basketball and how he is back in school enjoying distance learning with his fellow classmates.  Since Kenneth’s tumor is growing, he is now preparing for the possibility of going through treatment again and battling cancer.  As you can imagine, this is a lot for his family to process, but they believe that their faith and Kenneth’s faith is what keeps him strong in his fight against childhood cancer.  Kenneth will also be celebrating his 15th birthday next month.  His family plans to celebrate every year and make it as special as possible.

Throughout their journey, Keaton’s has been more than honored to support Kenneth’s family with a Hope Chest, gas cards, food cards and follow up calls.

“Thanks, Keaton’s for being on the crazy, scary, and miraculous journey with us.  You have been there every step of this journey.  You continue to be that welcome phone call to share what’s happening, to allow me to cry or to celebrate the little/life-changing victories. The care and support you’ve given is special and felt from every member of my family!!” ~ Kenneth’s Mom

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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