The Portugals’ dreams turned into a nightmare on December 12, 2012, when Nicholas was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). He has been treated at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan, among the premier cancer centers in the world.
Nicholas is cared for by his Mother and Father and has two other siblings. His Mother is providing full-time care for his needs, while his Father works 90 hours a week to keep food on the table. Pediatric cancer does not discriminate. The incredible stress that a family has to go through, between the fear of loss, the medical care, the creditors, and so much more, is tremendous. This family is being beaten up by cancer, but they are fighting back!
Qualeek has been in remission since 2012. He was diagnosed with brain cancer a few years ago and has had a rough time with treatment (including losing his hearing, which is affecting his performance in school). He has 4 siblings and lives with them and his single mother in Brooklyn, NY. Their family was recently evicted from their apartment because of their financial constraints (Felicia lost her job while caring for Qualeek) and are now all staying in a friends apartment. Qualeek just turned 10 this year.
From his family: Christian was very cheerful, loved to play with his brothers and sister in school and was a fast learner. He was very intelligent, strong and very friendly, but when he was diagnosed with Leukemia, he became sad and annoyed because he couldn’t do things he could do before. He began his chemotherapy immediately, which made him very sick. The treatment was for 5 months, and we were happy to learn that Christian was in remission, but soon after he relapsed. Now Christian needs a bone marrow transplant, and luckily his brother Brandon is compatible with him and can donate his marrow. Brandon is extremely happy that he can help his older brother. It is heartwarming to see how his 2 younger brothers and little sister have helped Christian through this. They are always there for him when he needs something. We are grateful to the Max Cure Foundation for their support through this difficult time.
Sadly we lost Christian to the disease on August 8, 2013 at the young age of 11. This picture was taken approximately 6 months prior to his death. We will always remember your smile. Be Brave Christian.
Rowan is a 1 yr. old child diagnosed with hi-risk- ALL in late January. Her mother is a single parent who had been attending school full time prior to Rowan’s diagnosis. Ms. Stuckey (mother) tried to keep up with her studies but with all the hospitalizations and clinic visits she had to withdraw this term. Along with scholarship money she also received a monthly stipend of approx. $400. Unfortunately, that amount was cut in half as a result of withdrawing from school. The help you will provide will be tremendously helpful to this mother and her child.
My name is Alexandra (Lexi) Medina and I am 7 years old. Back in August of 2011, the day before I was supposed to start 1st grade, I was diagnosed with Leukemia (ALL, a cancer of the blood). I found out I had this disease because a couple weeks before my diagnosis, I was playing outside with my little cousins when I fell down and got a scratch on my arm. By the end of the weekend, that scratch turned into a very large, infected wound on my arm. Other symptoms I had were loss of appetite, fevers for no reason, no energy and tired all the time. I was brought to the doctor and they did blood work. My pediatrician confirmed my diagnosis and I started treatment at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center (CCMC) the day I was supposed to start school. I lost my hair from some of the chemotherapy, but it is coming back now. It’s beautiful!! I just recently went back to school, after having a tutor since the beginning of my diagnosis. I still have the tutor for the days I don’t feel well, but am happy to be back with my friends. Sometimes I have to stay in the hospital for a long time when my blood counts are low and I get a high fever. I have received blood transfusions and platelet transfusions too. I also get spinal taps every few months at the hematology clinic. I have met a lot of cool kids there. Even though I am now in remission, I will be continuing chemotherapy and treatment at CCMC until November 7th of this year. I can’t wait to take that last chemo pill!!!!!
From her family: Naveah would come home every day from school and her arm, leg, head or back would start hurting. It seemed to be something different every day, so we took her to her pediatrician, who kept saying for three weeks it was just growing pains. She was on Tylenol and Motrin for the 3 weeks for high fevers. We took her to Manteca Hospital, and that doctor told us the same thing. One night Naveah could not fall asleep. She kept crying in pain, so this time we took her to Dameron Hospital in Stockton, CA and they found an inflammation throughout her entire body and said that we need to have her seen by a bone doctor. We were then referred to Oakland Children’s Hospital and when we got here they took blood,urine and did all kinds of tests and we stayed for a month and 5 days after ONLY 2 days of being here they told us they were 90% sure it was Neuroblastoma cancer and that’s her story. She’s still being treated for her Cancer and has not yet got in remission:( But we will not give up and she is a fighter:) thank u again.
Alonzo is 8 years old, diagnosed with Leukemia and also has ADHD & Pervasive Developmental Delays (on the autistic spectrum). Mother is a widow, father died in an accident almost two years ago, they were married for a long time and have older children. Mother is on a very low fixed income. Mother does not have a car and lives about 2 hours from the hospital. Transportation to treatment has been a struggle. Prior to the father’s death, she had been attending the local community college and obtained her AA degree. However, due to the patient’s diagnosis, mother cannot look for a job as she needs to take care of her child. It is obviously difficult for any child to go through cancer treatment, but definitely a lot more challenging for a child like this patient with pre-existing mental health and behavioral issues.
From his family: Sir Terrence is a 10yr. old boy that lives in Shreveport, LA and was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called NATURAL KILLER T-CELL LYMPHOMA back in August 2010. He was then introduce to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital were we resigned for three months, he began chemo/radiation and we thought he was in remission until May 2011 when they discovered a huge mass sitting in between his face, but more to the left. They started chemo immediately and stated he needs a bone marrow transplant. When just a week ago I was told that there’s no 100% chance that transplant will cure nor this chemo he’s taking now, because it’s such a rare and aggressive type of Cancer.
From her family: Keira was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in May 2012 when she was 19 months old. We had just been moved by the Air Force (my husband is active duty) from our home in Virginia to Florida the month before. Keira has handled treatment so well from Day 1. She held on to her hair for quite a while until a harsh chemotherapy protocol wiped it out in the beginning of October. It is now growing back, and she insists it will be pink. She is the sweetest child and never complains about the hourly trips to the hospital we make so often. She loves princesses and the park. She does a fabulous rendition of The Little Mermaid’s “Part of Your World.” Keira still has two more years of treatment, and all signs point to a full recovery. She is the bravest person we know.