We wish that we could tell you that all children who battle cancer end up with the words “cure” or “remission”, but this isn’t always the reality.
There are stories of victory and there are also stories of pain and heartache.
You may find yourself experiencing many different emotions as you read the stories of these children.
You may also find yourself falling in love with these brave kids as you learn some important lessons about your life.
We hope you will take some time and read about the stories of these courageous children and teenagers who are literally fighting for their lives every day.
Eryk’s Story – Moving From Poland…
In March 2011, Eryk, a 14 year old boy from Poland, came with his parents to Denver, Colorado. The Family planned to stay here one year. His father, a professor of geology at the University of Warsaw, Poland, came to do research in the US Geological Survey.
This was supposed to be the most exciting year in Eryk’s life; new environment, new school, new friends and great opportunity to learn English language. Eryk was enrolled at the Henry World Middle School.
The family planned to return to Poland in March 2012.
In November 2011, we got the devastating news – Eryk was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and immediately started intensive cancer treatment at the Children’s Hospital Colorado in Denver.
Read the rest of Eryk's story
We learned that, if things are going according to the protocol the treatment will continue three years and four months.
Eryk was considered High Risk due to his age at diagnosis and we decided to remain in Colorado until Eryk completes his treatment. The potential risks associated with interrupting the treatment were too high.
It has been an arduous time for Eryk, having all the harsh treatment and being far away from his older brothers, friends and the rest of family, who are in Poland.
The first 10 months of the treatment were very intense. Eryk was unable to attend school due to fatigue and low immune system. He was enrolled in Alternative Placement Services Program and finished his first school year working with a teacher at home.
Now, Eryk is in the maintenance treatment phase and he is doing very well. Last year he was enrolled at the Bear Creek High School. He is taking oral chemo meds daily and he is having treatment at the Clinic every four weeks.
The immense medical costs are beyond our ability to keep up financially. And this is where RMCCF was of enormous help to us. Special thanks go to Cindy Reitz and RMCCF who helped to cover Eryk’s medical and living costs, and related costs not paid by medical insurance.
The Walaszczyk Family
Mac was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in November 2013 at seven months old. Because his cancer was considered high risk, he stayed as inpatient at Children’s Hospital for four months while he did four cycles of intense chemotherapy.
When Mac was diagnosed and started treatment I quit working to stay at the hospital with him full time. He was a nursing infant and needed 24 hour care.
Read the rest of Mac's story
Mac is now 13 months old and in remission!
We are so grateful for the Rocky Mountain Childhood Cancer Foundation. We reached out for financial assistance and they helped with one of our most significant bills!
The financial strain that treatment and staying in the hospital can cause is immense. Having that bill taken care of was such a blessing to us.
It’s so incredible what they do for the families in need.
We will be forever grateful and hope to pay it forward.
On January 18th 2011, our family received the startling news that Justin had cancer. We were all shocked and devastated beyond belief. At 17 Justin was a senior in high school, this was supposed to be the best year of his life.
The official diagnosis is Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia, a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. He immediately underwent surgery to have a port placed in his chest so he could begin his long and arduous treatment protocol.
Justin is considered “High Risk” due to his age at diagnosis, this means his treatment will be longer than standard. If things go according to plan he will receive 3 years and 4 months of harsh chemicals.
Read the rest of Justin's story
He also has frequent spinal taps to inject chemo into his spinal fluid along with taking oral chemo meds daily.
Although Justin is doing very well now, the first 8 months of his treatment were very difficult and scary. We spent the majority of our time at the clinic/hospital instead of in our home.
The meds caused Justin to become very ill. He developed drug induced hyperglycemia resulting in insulin injections 3-4 times per day. He contracted a stomach virus that contributed to him losing 36 pounds, more than 20% of his body weight.
He was also admitted to ICU for pancreatitis.
Needless to say our family spent a significant amount of time in the hospital during front line treatment. We were unable to work consistently and the bills were mounting. This is where RMCCF stepped in, we filled out an application and within days Cindy was in the office asking what they could do to help.
They not only provided financial support, but emotional support as well.
We are so thankful to RMCCF for their continued support. When things start to feel hopeless, they are always there to provide that hope and make life feel more normal again.
The Hauck Family
In the case of this week’s 7Everyday Hero, the news was quickly turned into a way to help others.
Jared Johnston, 25, is fighting a disease only about 190 people in the world have.
“It is Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis,” said Jared’s dad, Mark Johnston.
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That has meant many brain surgeries and chemo treatments.
The disease may be serious enough to limit Jared’s speech and ability to walk for long periods of time, but not his determination to help other young people facing cancer.
“I just felt I should give back,” said Jared.
Jared helps by raising money and awareness for the Rocky Mountain Childhood Cancer Foundation. The nonprofit helps families overwhelmed with expenses that often come when a child faces cancer.
Jared is known for his sense of humor, but it is his commitment to help others that impresses people the most.
“He has grabbed the bull by the horns and said: ‘Hey, I am going to fight through this. I am going to figure this thing out.’ He has been a real inspiration to a lot of people,” said Jared’s dad, Mark.