Honored Kid

Isaiah Z.

Age 24
Isaiah Z. Kid Photo


Astoria, NY, US


Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis (LCH)

Date of Diagnosis

December 2001


In maintenance

Treated At

Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, New York-Presbyterian

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My Story

My son Isaiah is a wonderful 20 year old boy. He is very caring and loving to his younger brother name Joshua. Isaiah loves any kind of sports; baseball and basketball. He also loves mixed martial arts and got his black belt two years ago and became a Sempia. 

Our lives changed when Isaiah was 16 months old, my sister noticed a bump on his head and being a first time mother I took him right away to his pediatrician to have it checked. The doctor measured the bump and took some blood work. She also sent us to get X-rays & CAT scan done. Within the same week she told us that it might be Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis (LCH) but they would not really be sure until we met with an oncologist. She also told us Isaiah might need to have a skull biopsy. 

An appointment was set for us to go to Children's Hospital of Columbia Presbyterian to meet with Dr. Kara Kelly who is a pediatric oncologist at the Herbert Irving Child and Adolescent Oncology Center. She explained to us more about LCH, and described what was going to happen to our son including the need for chemo treatment for the next six months. On January 10, 2001 Isaiah had biopsy of a skull lesion and medi-port placement. The biopsy of the skull lesion came back positive for multisystem (bone, skin, lung) LCH Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis II. We were devastated. I didn't know how his little body would react to chemo and all other medications he will be taking for his disease. Soon, after the biopsy of the skull lesion, Isaiah started the chemotherapy: Vinblastine, Etoposide(VP-16), Mercaptopurine(6-MP), Prednisone(steroid) with a full skeletal survey and CAT scan once a week for eight months. I thanked God, because Isaiah did not have any nasty complications from the chemo or need a stem cell transplant. On March 19, 2001 a skin biopsy - atopic dermatitis was done. LCH is a rare disease that is caused by an excess of white blood cells called Histiocytes. It can attack the skin, bones, lung, liver, spleen or the central nervous system. The disease can be a life-threatening. 

 A week before Isaiah turned 2 years old, his oncologist told us that an important decision was made; the doctors determined that chemotherapy treatments would stop and they would just continue routine surveillance for disease recurrence. Isaiah would only need to return for skeletal surveys, and blood work every six months. We celebrated his 2nd birthday with two cakes one with "Happy 2nd birthday" and "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED".

 I always considered Isaiah cancer-free from the day he took his last chemo treatment. But the thought that the cancer could return is always my first question. Few years later, the doctors told us we would only visit his oncologist once a year for maintenance and regular blood work. 

May 2019, there was no better feeling when the doctor told us that “Isaiah showed no symptoms of suggestive of LCH. There’s no evidence of recurrence so Isaiah is clear. Cancer free.”  Its what I’ve been wanting to hear. It was definitely a long journey for us but it was worth it. I’m going to miss nurse Karen who’s always been there for Isaiah from taking his vitals, comforting him during chemo treatment and of course the caring and loving oncology Dr. Kara Kelly.  

Now, Isaiah is an adult. His journey has molded him for his greater good. He continue to be a good role model, an inspiration others and a good example to always believe and never give up hopes. God gave him a second chance in life and he learn not to take it for granted. He might look tough to others but he is a loving, protective big brother to Joshua. I'm blessed to have him as my son. I love you baby. 

Lovingly, Isaiah's mom

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