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

Meet Keaton Kiddo ~ Emilio

Meet Keaton Kiddo, Emilio! Emilio is a strong, six-year-old who loves going for walks, riding his brother’s bike and collecting Jurassic World dinosaurs. Emilio was recently diagnosed with Severe Aplastic Anemia, which is not considered a form of cancer but can still call for an identical experience.

Similar to cancer, Emilio’s diagnosis has caused unfortunate strain on him and his family. He and his mom have to travel a 4 hour round trip drive to get to his weekly appointments, which take up most of their day. Due to COVID-19 Health and Safety Protocols, Emilo’s siblings are unable to be alongside him while he receives treatment. There are some moments when he misses his brothers more than others, but thankfully, Emilio has so much support from his parents, brother’s and surrounding family to help him stay positive.

Since being referred to Keaton’s, our Family Navigator Team has provided Emilio’s family with Arco gas cards to support their commutes to and from treatment. We also had the pleasure of putting together their family Hope Chest for him and his two siblings, Sebastian and Leonardo, which included items that were personalized according to their interests. We were lucky enough to meet Emilio’s mom in person and hand-delivered their Hope Chest during an appointment. It brought our team so much joy to see how happy all three kiddos were to receive their unexpected surprises!

Despite the journey ahead, Emilio continues to fight and uses his bright smile to keep his family going. We are so happy to continue to provide joy-filled experiences and other services for families like Emilio’s as they navigate their journey and help keep our mission in motion.

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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