Honored Kid

Desirae Kakaio

Age 29
Desirae Kakaio Kid Photo


Las Vegas, NV, US


Undifferentiated Embroynal Sarcoma of the Liver

Date of Diagnosis

February 2011


In maintenance

Treated At

UCLA Pfleger Liver Institute Children’s Specialty Center of Nevada Sunrise Children's Hospital

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My Story

On January 25th, 2011, I barely walked into UCLA at four-thirty that morning hunched over in pain from the drive in. At 20lbs; a combusted tumor was removed along with the right side of my liver, and my gall-bladder. What expected to only be a two hour surgery ended up to be a five hour surgery. The tumor was leaning on one of my nerves that went down to my leg that I had to attend physical therapy to get me to start walking right again. I stood at UCLA for a week to make sure I was stable. I was diagnosed with embryonal sarcoma of the liver. What they explained to me is that the cancer started from before I was born and it grew over 18 years. Because the tumor burst, they scheduled me to start six cycles of chemotherapy being that they didn’t know if any particles spread anywhere else. During my treatments I tried to go back to school to finish and enjoy what was left of my senior year. I looked forward to going to school when I could because it was a way to get away from a hospital. But as the nurse thought that is was in my best interest, she registered me for home bound schooling. Juggling chemotherapy and school was absolutely hard-hitting for me. In a matter of 2 weeks, I gave away my senior year to face what nobody ever thought would be the outcome to my liver resection surgery. I had to be mature about the situation and face the world with what it was throwing at me.With much arguing to the school board I got to graduate on time with my class from my own school. I got to do things that normally chemo patients don’t do. I tried to have a life like how I would've had without chemotherapy. It was tough, but I came through. I am now a college student at the college of southern Nevada where I will be studying Social Work Emphasis on Child Life For the past two years, i have changed in to a different person. i feel a better person that not only my family and friends, but people that don't know me even say. what I've realized is you definitely shouldn't take life for granted. this is most important to me because in a matter of maybe days/weeks, i would have lost mine and i thank god im still here. people shouldn't have regrets in life because those regrets follow you throughout life and it's the hard times that you really think about them, sometimes maybe even hurt you. Acknowledge the people around you even if it's someone you just pass on your way to work or school. I've realized i know a lot of people that i may have only met once. And most importantly, love your loved ones. there going to be there when you need them most. especially if you have to go through what i went through. I've been moving forward with the foundations that has helped me the most not only through treatment, but also post-treatment. i have worked and tried to bring smiles to kids just like me, to keep there heads up and have them hope for the best. i have also been a candlelighters scholarship recipient for the passed two years as well. they've been helping further my education and help giving me the experience of a life time. On Sept. 8th 2012, they honored my fight against childhood cancer by making me an ambassador for their 5k 1 mile walk/Run. Also on Oct. 11th, 2012 i returned to the lights and stage for the Knock out for our kids MMA Event, where there i sang the national Anthem and made a memorable comeback.

The Childhood Cancer Ripple Effect

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