Did you know . . .
Cancer affects more than 15,000 children under the age of 19 annually with roughly 2,000 losing their fight to some form of pediatric cancer every year. That’s a weekly average of 38 children – roughly the equivalent of losing a classroom of children each and every week.
There are 15 major types of cancer in children and adolescents with more than 100 subtypes.
Although survival rates for all pediatric cancers as a whole are now above 80% and moving higher, some forms are more deadly with a very low survival rate.
Many families, including those in the Coastal Bend, are touched by childhood cancer each and every day.
Esmeralda “Esmie” DeLos Santos, Age 1 1/2
Payton Canales, Age 2
Daniel Leon-Castillo, Age 6
Jackie, Age 17
Jackie (at age 6) was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Soon thereafter, the doctors had discovered it was a high grade (grade 3) anaplastic astrocytoma, and the treatments included surgeries, radiation therapy, and extended chemotherapy. Today, Jackie is in remission after living with the most lethal of diseases for children. From day one, our goal was for Jackie to be a survivor. Now, our goal is to not only survive, but to also help others. Learn more about Jackie’s Ready or Not Foundation +
In loving memory of Gavin
Gavin Israel Sandoval (April 1, 2013–July 8, 2016) was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 9 months. He loved fishing and big trucks , paw patrol and most of all, his family.
In loving memory of Brooke
Miss Brooke Elizabeth Hester was a strong, courageous little girl. In November 2010, at age 3 ½, she was suddenly unable to walk. After three months of her pediatrician trying to discern her erratic symptoms, she was ultimately diagnosed with high-risk stage IV Neuroblastoma cancer, the most common extra cranial solid tumor cancer in infants and young children. She fought bravely, but sadly, passed away in June 2015 after a nearly five-year nonstop battle with cancer.
Brooke had a tremendous impact on all who met her because she fought every day with a tenacious smile and a compassionate giving heart. Shortly after her diagnosis as a 3-year-old toddler, Brooke began to give away headwear to other kids with cancer that she met, which led to the creation of her global nonprofit.
Before Brooke’s passing, she had inspired thousands of volunteers worldwide to help give away more than 20,000 hats and headband care packages to children fighting cancer in 40 countries, and helped raise nearly $200,000 going to life-saving childhood cancer research with an emphasis in precision or personalized medicine. Brooke left behind a global legacy of love and giving in the name of hope that will never be forgotten through Brooke's Blossoming Hope for Childhood Cancer Foundation. Please visit www.BrookesBlossoms.org to learn more or get involved.
In loving memory of James
James A. Ragan was diagnosed with a pediatric bone cancer called Osteosarcoma in 2006. At first, it was just in his left leg, and doctors had to remove most of his leg to save him. His dreams of playing college tennis were torn away from him, but at least he would be alive. Then, about a year later, James learned that even surgery would not save his life as the cancer had metastasized to his lungs. He spent his early teens undergoing countless rounds of chemotherapy, experimental treatments, drugs and surgeries to his lungs, chest wall and diaphragm. It was as dark a time as any child could have, but in the midst of all of this James always found ways to make the most of a horrific situation.
James always maintained a smile and a hopeful attitude. He and his sister, Mecklin, organized the Triumph Over Kid Cancer Foundation (TOKC) to start and fund the Children's Sarcoma Initiative at M.D. Anderson Children's Cancer Hospital to promote new research ideas. Having accomplished that goal about the time James passed away, TOKC’s current project is the pediatric Genomic Research And Sequencing Project - GRASP, which provides longitudinal whole genome sequencing for pediatric cancers to enable scientists to find new cures.