Sal's story: Seeing cancer through the lens of victory
It was the summer after kindergarten and Sal should have been out on the block playing with his neighborhood pals. But the typically robust 6-year-old was fighting off one illness after another.
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Aliciya doesn’t let sickle cell disease stop her from dancing
Outside of school, 12-year-old Aliciya spends her evenings and weekends with her dance team. When they’re not practicing, they’re traveling around Texas for competitions. In school, Aliciya’s favorite subjects are history and science.
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From cancer and heart failure to happy, energetic kid
At 2-years-old, Grant is so energetic that his parents, Wesley and Shanna, can barely keep up. He loves basketball, playing his toy drums and guitar, and climbing on everything. You’d never guess that just a few months earlier, he was fighting for his life.
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A teen continues to spread hope amidst her cancer battle
In late 2020, Addison began experiencing back pain that made it uncomfortable to breathe and seemed more tired than usual. Her parents took her to her family doctor who suspected she may have sprained a muscle in her back and suggested a series of stretches and gentle exercises to allow it to heal. Over the next few weeks, the pain grew worse and she started to notice abnormalities in the color of her urine. She returned to her doctor's office where a urinalysis identified elevated liver enzymes in her urine, suggesting something may be going on with her liver or gallbladder. Her doctor ordered some routine bloodwork – just to be safe – and explained that Addison would need to see a specialist for an ultrasound of her abdomen.
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Sickle cell disease doesn't keep Reagan off the field
For Reagan, life revolves around the baseball diamond. He went to his first Texas Rangers game when he was just 1 month old, and his parents, Jaimee and Leo, have run a youth sports organization for the past several years. He’s often the first one out on the field and the last one to leave, so it can come as a surprise to new friends that Reagan was born with a disease that can cause crippling pain and organ damage.
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Darian finds relief through a multi-modal approach to pain management
Darian was diagnosed with sickle cell disease when he was just 10 days old after a routine newborn screening, and has been on an almost decade-long struggle to manage the pain and serious complications that come with his disease ever since. He has been closely monitored by the Pediatric Sickle Cell Disease program in the Pauline Allen Gill Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children's Health℠, one of the largest pediatric programs for patients with sickle cell disease in the nation, and he and his family have worked with a multi-disciplinary team of specialists to address the many health challenges he has faced over the years.
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Miles faces a rare cancer diagnosis with perseverance
In May 2016 while at school, a daycare teacher noticed that Miles' ear was bleeding. Miles' mom, Stephanie, brought him to the pediatrician, who suspected Miles had ruptured his ear drum and prescribed a round of antibiotics. But after Miles continued experiencing unusual symptoms, his pediatrician referred him to an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist. The specialist believed there was excess tissue in Miles' ear canal that would need to be surgically removed.
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Bryson bravely manages sickle cell disease with support from Children's Health
When Melissa was pregnant with her son, Bryson, a routine blood test determined that she was a carrier for sickle cell disease. Because Bryson's father had sickle cell disease, Melissa faced the realization that there was a chance that her son may be born with the disease. However, all she could do at that time was wait.
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A young child shows his strength after surviving cancer
Shortly after Andrew started crawling in 2015, he stopped using his arms and legs. His parents, Lisa and Thomas, didn't think much of it, but brought him to his pediatrician's office for a check-up, just in case. After examining Andrew, his pediatrician couldn't determine what was wrong. He suggested Lisa and Thomas bring Andrew to the emergency room to rule out any serious issues.
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Ritvika's strength shines after surviving Ewing's Sarcoma
Ritvika is, in many ways, what most would consider a typical teenager. She enjoys spending time with friends, playing sports and performing on stage.
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A multidisciplinary care team helps Carson overcome critical health challenges
When Carson was born, nearly everything he ate made him sick. His mom, Stephanie, tried 10 different baby formulas before she finally found one that worked. His pediatrician suspected he was suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and a blood test soon determined Carson was also allergic to five different foods.
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David's search for a lifesaving match
David is a bright and active high school student. The youngest of three boys, he enjoys playing basketball, is in the marching band and hopes to be an engineer one day.
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A football player captures his cancer experience in an inspiring music video
Davion is a high school student who enjoys spending time with family and friends. He loves sports, especially football, which he has played since he was 4 years old. As a junior, Davion played middle linebacker and was varsity captain. But a few months after the season ended, the talented athlete got unexpected news: He had cancer.
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Khadence uses superhero strength to fight sickle cell
Khadence is an active young girl with a bright smile. She loves baton twirling, dancing, writing and helping take care of her two little sisters.
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An anonymous donor gets a young patient back in the game after his battles with cancer
When Jude was just 5 years old, his parents, Keith and Boots, noticed that he started to develop a lot of bruises on his legs and was getting sick more than they thought was normal. They brought it up to his pediatrician who just attributed it to, "boys always having bruises," and told them there was nothing to worry about. It wasn't until shortly thereafter when Jude was taken to the Emergency Room at Children's Medical Center Plano with a 105-degree fever and red spots on his face that his family was given news no parents wants to hear: Jude had leukemia.
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One boy's battle against cancer encourages others to do the same
When Evan was just nine years old, he came down with a persistent high fever that doctors originally suspected was just a virus running its course after initial tests showed nothing abnormal. His parents were traveling at the time, but his aunt, a nurse, was taking care of him and keeping a close eye on his symptoms. When his fever still hadn't gone away three days later, Evan's aunt brought him to the Emergency Department at Children's Medical Center Plano telling the care team that she, "was not leaving until [they] did every possible test to figure out what was going on."
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A young man's brave fight against cancer ensures many happy holidays to come
In 2012, Riley and his family were sitting around the table playing Bingo during the Thanksgiving holiday when he sat up straight in his chair looking completely gray. He had a stomach ache the night before so his parents took him to the emergency room at Children’s Medical Center Dallas right away.
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A patient's artwork inspires others to keep fighting
AJ had been feeling bad for some time when he found himself at Children’s Health. He had been to several other doctors previously, but no one could figure out what was wrong with him, and he and his family were both frustrated and worried.
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Luis' story: Cancer survivor, writer and budding scientist
Luis was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a rare cancer of the retina, when he was just 7 months old. It’s a day his mother, Crissty, will never forget for two reasons. First, the obvious: It was the day the terms cancer, chemotherapy, survival rate and prognosis entered their vocabulary. But even more than that, it was also the first time Luis called her mama. Understandably, Crissty likes to focus on the latter milestone.
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A young patient puts up a great fight against sickle cell disease
Her mom, Schwana, brought her to the Sickle Cell Disease program in the Pauline Allen Gill Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s Health, one of the largest pediatric programs for patients with sickle cell disease in the nation.
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A young patient stays positive by helping others
When Jack was just three years old, he was visiting a fountain at the park with his grandma – an x-ray technician – when she noticed a bump on his right side. He saw his pediatrician the next day who referred him to Children’s Health for a scan, which revealed a mass growing on his right kidney.
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A young girl shows strength as she battles cancer before her first birthday
Her daughter, Zoe, had been dealing with a bout of what her gastroenterologist diagnosed as traveler’s diarrhea for about two months and wasn’t getting better, despite trying multiple antibiotics to treat it. The doctor assured Linda that it just took time for it to run its course, but her mother’s intuition told her that something wasn’t quite right. Linda finally decided enough was enough, and on February 14, she headed to the Emergency Department at Children’s Medical Center Plano for answers.
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A young girl shows her strength as she battles Leukemia
Tatum had just returned from a fun weekend in San Antonio celebrating her grandmother’s 65th birthday when she started to run a fever. It didn’t go down by the next morning and she began having trouble walking so her mom, Whitney, took her to her pediatrician’s office to figure out what was going on. She tested negative for strep, but her blood work came back abnormal so her doctor urged them to go directly to the emergency room at Children’s Medical Center Plano.
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An innovative, advanced therapy gives hope to a young cancer patient
When Conner began complaining about back and leg pain last summer, his parents took him to his pediatrician in Tyler, Texas, to try to determine what was wrong. After his blood work came back normal, he was referred to his local hospital for an MRI and x-ray. The MRI revealed spots indicative of leukemia, and Conner was immediately referred to Children’s Health for further testing and evaluation. Shortly after, he was diagnosed with neuroblastoma and was admitted to the Pauline Allen Gill Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s Health to begin treatment.
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