#EKC: Leukemia diagnosis surprises family, doesn't dampen spirit of young patient
Seven-year-old Kallvin Mendoza is well known on the Hematology/Oncology floor at Cook Children’s Medical Center. Despite being diagnosed last November with Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), he often has a smile on his face that brightens the day of all who come in contact with him. In addition to cancer, Kallvin also has Down syndrome, but none of this dampens his spirits. In fact, he’s known for being charming and can often be found sitting in the laps of nurses who are working at their computers. His mom, Brenda, says being in the hospital doesn’t bother Kallvin much, but it is difficult for her and the rest of their family.
“Kallvin has four sisters between the ages of three and eleven. All of them want my attention. My husband and sister help take care of the girls, but it’s still very hard for me to be there for them and be at the hospital,” Brenda said.
She says her son’s cancer diagnosis came as a complete surprise. And when he was admitted to Cook Children’s, she was amazed to see how many other children were facing the same challenges.
“I would have never imagined there were a lot of kids with cancer or the amount of suffering their parents go through.”
She says the families of childhood cancer patients need a lot of support, emotionally and beyond.
“They spend a lot of time in the hospital without many people coming to visit. I would invite the public to get to know these families and patients, or even just smile when you see them.”
She also says that kind of support is what has helped her through this difficult time.
“I would also like to thank our friends and family for every visit, every phone call, every action of love and encouragement. I keep all of those in my heart. Even though the pain has been great, I am sure, that God doesn’t get it wrong.”
Each September, Cook Children's shares stories and raises funds in honor Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. The money raised for #erasekidcancer supports life-saving research, treatments, technology and programs for patients and families at Cook Children's in Fort Worth, Texas. Please help us create hope for kids, families and caregivers who are fighting every day to #erasekidcancer.