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

Meet Keaton’s Kiddo – Perry

“Baby P is such a fighter. STRONG, POWERFUL baby!!

He is learning to walk in hospital rooms and learning to advocate for himself saying ‘no, no, no.’ Baby P is determined to do everything his big sister is doing. We are looking forward to the day that he is cancer free and we can ring that bell!” – Helen (Baby P’s mom)

Perry, also known as Baby P was referred to Keaton’s at just 7 months old when he was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma on May 9, 2022. Neuroblastoma is a cancer that develops from immature nerve cells that can be found in several areas of the body, but is typically found in the small glands on top of the kidneys, otherwise known as the adrenal glands. In Baby P’s case, his tumor is pressing up against his kidneys, but he doesn’t let that stop him from working hard to reach new milestones!

Baby P’s journey has been far from simple. His body’s reaction to initial treatments resulted in horrible side effects, leaving his parents petrified and ensuring that they’d both be present for each of his appointments. This resulted in both his mom and dad taking time off work and grandparents commuting five hours one way to support with child care for Baby P and his 3-year-old sister Isabella, otherwise known as Isa. Baby P’s allergic reactions to his treatments has resulted in extensive stays in the hospital, many different specialists on his case, and intubation procedures, which unfortunately caused further damage to Baby P’s lungs and throat. In addition, this little cancer warrior has also been given a nephrostomy tube, which drains urine directly from his affected kidneys, and a broviac catheter which leads to a vein above his heart that supports with his medical treatments.

Due to all he’s had to endure, Baby P has had a hard time meeting his developmental milestones like crawling and walking, as well as proper nutritional growth. When being made aware of this, Baby P’s Family Navigator quickly stepped in to advocate for assistance with these needs, and immediately our team was able to customize a joy-filled Hope Chest with specific items such as feeding utensils, sippy cups, play mats, sensory toys, water wipes, and an interactive walker to support Baby P’s growth and development. In addition to this, our Family Navigator team also shared a Hope Chest for Baby P’s big sister Isa, and a financial grant for his family in hopes of alleviating some financial stress.

Recently, Baby P’s family has received better news; he’s been responding well to his chemotherapy treatments and was able to be home for a couple of days with his loved ones. This was a great relief for the entire family as they got an opportunity to spend quality time together in the comfort of their own home. His medical team has also decided to honor his emergency chemotherapy, meaning that he has two cycles left! Although this is a joyous time for Baby P, his family still has multiple pressing needs that have emerged since the time of his diagnosis. To best support, Keaton’s is actively working to secure these needs, for his family, to the best of our abilities and continues to advocate for support in multiple areas. Since being referred to our program, Baby P’s mom Helen has been very appreciative and shared her thanks to Keaton’s for helping Baby P reach a huge movement milestone while on his journey.

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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