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

Keaton’s Kiddo Update – Lea

“Keaton’s support has been an unexpected blessing that we didn’t know we needed until it was received.”

Princess Lea, 6 years old, loves playing outdoors, painting, coloring, playing with her siblings, and everything Jojo Siwa! Lea’s life-changing journey began November 30, 2020 in the midst of COVID, when she began experiencing excruciating pain. After 11 days of multiple tests and having her bone marrow examined, Lea was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) at the age of 3.5. Over the next 2 years she received aggressive treatment and participated in a clinical trial as well. She has been in remission since February 2021 and continued her active treatment journey.

“Keaton’s support has been an unexpected blessing that we didn’t know we needed until it was received. As parents, you want to be so strong for your children and protect them from everything, but the reality is we had no idea what we were and would be experiencing along this healthcare journey.

Thank you for playing an integral part in normalizing Lea’s experience and her acceptance of physical changes. The Keaton’s family events connected us to families who are either walking similar pediatric cancer journeys like us or have overcome them. It allowed Lea and her siblings to meet new kids and make friends. More than anything, Keaton’s events provided a safe space for Lea and our family to be normal and feel comfortable with her physical changes such as losing her hair. Our family is also grateful for the various grocery and gas gift cards received – especially gas when we were commuting almost 40 minutes out, one-way, for three days a week for Lea’s treatment.”- Lea’s Parents, Mark and Alani.

On March 10th, 2023 Lea had her last spinal tap and intrathecal chemo appointment, and will soon have her port removed…all in time to celebrate her “ No Mo Chemo Party” this August!

She has been an amazing warrior goddess through it all and often was concerned with how others were feeling during her journey. We gained a new perspective on life through her resilience and pure joy. Her smile makes the world better and we’re beyond excited to see her impact on it. Well done, baby girl!” Lea’s Mom shares.

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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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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