Honored Kid

Mateo C.

Age 4
Mateo C. Kid Photo

Location

El paso, TX, US

Diagnosis

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)

Date of Diagnosis

June 2017

Status

In maintenance

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My Story

Thank you for supporting me and the more than 300,000 kids worldwide who will be diagnosed with cancer this year. By sharing the gifts of your time, talent and money with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, you're supporting research to give all kids with cancer a better chance for a cure. Mateo was 9 days shy of turning 2 when we were faced with this monster. It all started about 2 months prior with what we thought was a stomach bug causing diarrhea and vomiting. In those 2 months we visited his dr’s office weekly with recurring fevers for which we kept being told were only viruses that needed to run it’s course. One weekend he woke up with his right eye a bit swollen on the bottom, we put warm chamomile compresses and it went away. The next weekend he woke up with the left eye completely swollen shut. Once again we visited his dr and he was prescribed some eye drops that seemed to be helping but when Monday came along he was running a low grade fever again. Dr checked for strep, flu and nothing. Another viral infection that would “pass” by itself. By the end of the week things hadn’t gotten better and finally one of the nurse practitioners found it odd for him to keep coming back with fever so frequently. On Friday June 9th, our first angel Cathy Hermosillo sent us for Mateo’s blood work at the hospital. I will never forget feeling like I lost the ground I was standing on when she called me back saying we were to spend the night at the hospital’s oncology floor for further testing. After a couple of hours at the hospital another of Mateo’s angels, Dr. Lacaze, walked in the room accompanied by two others. Her face said it all. She sat in front of us and said “Everything is going to be ok. We are here to help you guys. Mateo has leukemia”. She went on to explain what it meant, what the treatment would be like, and much more that I honestly paid no attention to. In the next days he got a blood transfusion, platelets, and his first surgery, the access port. We had to spend a month at the hospital to get him strong enough to go home. After 2 weeks being home came another 3 weeks at the hospital to battle the rotavirus. On July 12 we received the amazing news that Mateo was in remission. At his young age he has had to go through 8 months of intense treatment. He has gone up and down on weight due to the steroids, along with frustrating mood swings and loss of hair. He has learned to cooperate when it’s time for vitals. He has been in the OR for his spinal chemo more than 10 times and his port has been accessed more than 30 times. His treatment is not even half way through but we now have an end date in sight, August 2020. Along the whole process we have smothered him with millions of kisses, he learned his favorite sing-a-long song, Wheels on the bus, and he also learned not to run when the IV is connected to his port. We have repeated “I love you” to him endlessly, which he learned to say during our first stay at the hospital... it is now our family’s  favorite way of saying it... “WALU” so much Mateo!!! 

The Childhood Cancer Ripple Effect

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