Esperanza, fortaleza y sanación para familias que enfrentan un diagnóstico de cáncer infantil

Meet Keaton’s Kiddo – Yazmine

During la 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.   

Up until this point, Yazmine had a pretty normal life of an average 3-year-old.  She was almost like a little superhuman.  She had never been sick, never been to the hospital, and we never had any concerns or worries about her at all.  On a regular day, she and her baby brother would spend their days together while their older sister went to school, and from the time she woke up until she went to sleep, she was always eating. A BIG eater who enjoyed snacks and goodies, she would often say that she was “starving”, and I’d have to keep fruit on hand for her at all times. Her energy was also through the roof at times, so, that week before her diagnosis when she wasn’t acting like herself, I knew that something was wrong.   

When we made it to the ER, she was at the point where her temperature reached 103 degrees. Many tests were ran including blood work, urine tests, a chest x-ray, and a CT scan. At almost 1AM after spending hours at the ER, the Dr finally came in and said that she would have to be admitted due to her results showing a large mass near her kidney. They repeated the CT scan and confirmed that there were two large tumors on her left kidney, one tumor on her right kidney, and an additional small tumor located in her liver. After receiving those results, the Drs confirmed her diagnosis: Stage 4 Wilms Tumor.   

During that first week de being admitted, we were getting so much information thrown at us. The social worker at Sutter Medical Center gave us the names of many organizations who could help our family, y Keaton’s was one of them. After being connected to Keaton’s, the organization S tood out right away and we were shocked to learn from a Family Navigator that they were willing to make a surprise drop off at our house, sharing gifts for Yazmine and her siblings. The Family Navigators, Cassie and Emily, came to our house and shared a wonderful welcome to Keaton’s organization. Ever since that point the organization has truly been a blessing. From the family eventos, to receiving la support from a financial grant, and even receiving the Princess hats/wigs from Keaton’s, it all has meant so much to our family. Yazmine wears her yarn wigs everywhere she goes and gets so many compliments, and our whole family looks forward to the Family Events that Keaton’s hosts! It is also nice to see other families that we’ve met during our many hospital stays and clinic visits at these Family Events, y I personally feel the care and compassion the Keaton’s team shares with all de the families they work with. To us the biggest blessing that was shared through de Keaton were the Christmas gifts given to our children this past Christmas.  Yazmine unfortunately was hospitalized almost the entire month of December, and there was no time to squeeze in Christmas shopping or any planning last year. It was hard to not let depression y sadness overcome us, but de Keaton helped give the kids a wonderful Christmas, and the grupo that sponsored our family gave us such a blessing that allowed us to have a shining moment during a very difficult time.   

Very recently, Yazmine had her Broviac removed. We have been slowly getting back to our normal life.  You don’t realize how much you miss it until it’s gone. We don’t have to worry about low ANC counts, and we can go out and do more things. I can plan things with the kids and not have to worry about appointments or procedures. We get to all be together, and most importantly, the kids can all be together. There are no more weeklong separations. During treatment, your life is on hold, and during that time for our family, everything rightfully surrounded Yazmine and her care. At the same time, we did our best to juggle time for our other children and responsibilities, because life doesn’t stop.   

During the whole journey, and now at the end, Yazmine’s strength and faith remained strong. She surprisingly took every step so well, from the time when her hair started falling out, to when she had radiation for 12 long days, and despite all of her major surgeries she was just like, “okay”. She did it. No fighting, fear, or sadness. She just did what she had to do. I believe her strength kept us all going. Her accepting her diagnosis still shocks me. She truly gave our whole family strength when we needed it most.   

My message for other families is that it does get better. Take in the joyful moments, small accomplishments, and the small victories. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and be open to accepting todo the help that’s offered. This can’t be done alone, it takes an entire village, and special people like the ones at Keaton’s. Our family could not have done this alone, and we are truly grateful por todo the love and support we received to help us overcome Yazmine’s battle.  ~ Anjelica, Yazmine, Child Cancer Warrior, Mother

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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Conoce al niño de Keaton - 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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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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