'Source of Sunshine': 2-Year-Old Patient Celebrates Final Leukemia Treatment With Bell-Ringing
"She shares happiness and joy without saying a word, which has taught us that anyone can be kind and help others without even saying anything,” dad Justin Mixon said.
Story by Sydney Hanes. Video by Tom Riehm.
In April, patient Kaydence Mixon who was diagnosed with leukemia rang the end-of-treatment bell at Cook Children’s Medical Center surrounded by her family, friends and care team.
Following a heartfelt speech from Kaydence’s dad, Justin Mixon, a big dance party featuring a disco ball and pompoms broke out.
After nine months of treatment at Cook Children’s, the precious 2-year-old has proved she’s strong. But Kaydence’s superpower lies in the joy she spreads as she quickly crawls around the floor or busts a move to some music, all while waving to friends and passersby.
Besides showing what it means to be brave and resilient, “she shares happiness and joy without saying a word, which has taught us that anyone can be kind and help others without even saying anything,” Justin said.
On July 26, 2022, Kaydence came to Cook Children’s for some blood tests in preparation for a heart procedure. The next day, she underwent successful surgery to close an atrial septal defect (ASD), or a hole in her heart between the upper chambers.
Later that day, Kaydence and her family received her leukemia diagnosis. She began chemotherapy treatment two days later.
“It was a rough three or four days, but we worked to understand the ‘whys,’” Justin said. “We’re faithful people and found purpose in it all pretty quickly.”
“God graced us with a child who could handle treatment so well,” he said. “She has done it with a smile on her face, so we’ve been able to do it with a smile on our faces. That joy has been reciprocated by the staff too!”
Source of Sunshine
Kaydence became quite a celebrity during her time at Cook Children’s. She became friends with other patients on her floor in the medical center and built strong relationships with each member of her care team.
To Kaydence, no one at Cook Children’s was a stranger.
“She’s been the source of sunshine for all of us the entire time that she’s been here,” said nurse practitioner Alan Ready. “Even if they’ve never been involved in her care, staff all over the hospital know who she is. It’s a testament to her and her family.”
When asked about his family’s experience, Justin says he and his wife Natasha Mixon are grateful for the employees who made Kaydence’s experience at the hospital more normal and enjoyable.
“Good things can come from bad situations,” he said. “There are blessings along the way if you’re looking for them!”