Keaton kiddo Cristian was referred to Keaton’s Child Cancer Alliance after his family relocated from Reno to Sacramento in October 2020. Our initial touch as an organization was through our annual Adopt-A-Family Program. The Keaton’s Family Navigator Team received Cristian’s Adopt-A-Family referral in November, from his hospital social worker and matched his family to a generous sponsor. The Adopt-A-Family Program was a great way to initially connect with Cristian’s family as we were able to spread joy-filled experiences during the holidays. This meant so much to Cristian, his brothers and his parents because they had faced many challenges since their big move to Sacramento.
Following Adopt-A-Family, Cristian’s father reached out to one of our Family Navigators to share updates about Cristian and be officially referred to Keaton’s. After learning more about their journey, Keaton’s was able to alleviate some emotional and financial stress and be of
support to their family. Cristian’s journey, like many others, has been tough. He was first diagnosed with B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), a cancer that affects B-Cells in children’s immune system, in September 2020, in the middle of the COVID-19 Pandemic. As you can imagine, battling childhood cancer in the midst of a pandemic and transitioning to a new city has not been easy for Cristian or his family. His experience receiving treatment has also been very challenging due to the side effects, such as painful mouth sores and rashes. Aside from cancer, Cristian also faces challenges being a part of the autism spectrum. However, with the support from his parents and brothers, he remains strong and resilient.
Although Cristian has faced many hardships, Keaton’s Child Cancer Alliance has been fortunate to step in and brighten Cristian’s days. After creating a personalized Hope Chest (family care package) that included a customized blanket, toys and goods or Cristian and his brothers, his father shared, “This is the first time I’ve seen Cristian smile in about three days!! Thank you so much!! It definitely lifted his spirits. A million times over… THANK YOU!!”
The Keaton’s Family Navigator Team has been fortunate enough to meet Cristian and his family at our recent Family Ranch Day Event and are so honored to be a part of his journey. Cristian’s continued strength and courage to overcome many obstacles has been an inspiration to us all.
No child or family should have to fight pediatric cancer alone, and we at Keaton’s are happy to continue to share our love and support to kiddos like Cristian.