They call him “Super Benji” and the whole room chanted his name when it was his turn at the head-shaving event — a two-time childhood cancer survivor braving the shave for the second time to help raise funds for other kids with cancer. This is Benji.
Diagnosed with a rare type of brain cancer as a baby, Benji endured surgery and began a rigorous 18-month treatment protocol before his first birthday. Just as he reached the five year “survival mark,” he was diagnosed with a secondary cancer of the thyroid, requiring removal of his thyroid and lymph nodes as well as more intensive treatment.
The very treatments that saved Benji’s life were not without collateral damage — he suffers from hearing loss, lung and respiratory weaknesses, optic nerve damage and feeding issues.
But he earned the nickname “Super Benji” because he is a fighter. His heroes are the World Wrestling Entertainment wrestlers, especially Kofi Kingston. Benji’s tenacity keeps him persevering in the fight. Today he is not on any active treatment.
As a typical seven-year-old boy, Benji loves sports, especially baseball and wrestling, mac and cheese and chicken fries, Marvel movies and superheroes and family game and movie nights (his favorite is BINGO night!).
The Sanchez family has been participating in St. Baldrick’s since 2016 and has experienced not only the power of volunteers coming together for an urgent cause but the embrace of comfort and hope for families of kids with cancer.
Benji’s mom, Azalea, says, “For anyone who is considering being involved I would say take the leap and just do it! There is never anything too big or small you can do to make a difference.”
Each year, St. Baldrick’s chooses a League of Legendary Heroes Champion — a kid with cancer who epitomizes courage, humility, and endurance in the fight against cancer. For 2022, the choice was clear — it’s “Super Benji” for the win!
Help Give Kids Like Benji A Lifetime
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