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

Meet Keaton’s Kiddo – Blossom

4-year-old Blossom is a sweet and sassy 4-year-old who loves slime and all things girly!

Her childhood cancer journey began when she was just two years old, diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, a type of cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow. Before her diagnosis, Blossom was a joyous and active toddler who enjoyed running around and having fun with her mom, Alaura. Slowly, she started developing symptoms that were out of the ordinary such as prolonged nose bleeds, and fevers. A short time later, Blossom’s mom, Alaura, became worried when Blossom didn’t seem to have enough energy to walk, and did not want to be held. Out of concern, Alaura took Blossom to an Emergency Room (ER), where further tests were done, and it was determined that Blossom had Leukemia.

As with many caregivers and families touched by childhood cancer, Alaura felt a whirlwind of emotions following Blossom’s diagnosis, but was ready and determined to provide the love, support, and care that Blossom would need as she began her battle. With Blossom being so young at the time of her diagnosis, Alaura faced challenges explaining to Blossom why she had to go to the doctor or take her medicine, and despite having a support system of friends and family, Alaura shared that being in the role of a caregiver to a child who’s been diagnosed with cancer, is something that other people on the outside will never understand.

Shortly after Blossom’s diagnosis in 2021, her family was referred to Keaton’s and were connected with a Family Navigator who reached out to share about our services and provide support to Alaura and Blossom. A first touch to joining our Keaton’s family, our Navigator team shared a joy-filled Hope Chest just for Blossom and had an opportunity to meet and play with her at her local treatment facility, following an appointment at the infusion center. Although Alaura shared that she was a little nervous when first meeting our Keaton’s team, she instantly felt so welcomed, comfortable, and wanted. The one thing that meant most to her was our team meeting Blossom and making her feel so loved and special!

Over the past two years, our team has been fortunate to grow such a great relationship with Blossom and Alaura, offering a variety of financial, emotional, and joy-filled support as they navigated their childhood cancer journey. Whether it’s coming in to sing songs and have dance parties, or celebrate Blossom’s milestones, we have felt so thankful to come alongside Blossom and watch her grow.

“The support means so much. Keaton’s is like another family to me. I never feel like a burden when I ask for help, and even if there’s something you can’t do at that time, you find another way to give me the support I need” ~ Alaura, Blossom’s Mom

Currently, Blossom is in remission, officially done with her chemo treatments, and got to ring the bell on July 27th, 2023! She still attends follow up appointments once a month, but Alaura shared that she feels reassured and like a weight has been lifted off her shoulders knowing that Blossom is doing well and in such a stable condition. With Blossom being in remission, she is now attending a learning day-care and Alaura is pursuing her college education, studying Social and Behavioral Sciences, and taking positive steps toward a promising future for her and Blossom. Our team looks forward to continued check-ins, sharing support, and seeing Blossom and Alaura at our future family events, knowing that cancer is a forever journey.

Together We Fight. Together We Overcome. Together We Heal.

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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