Category Archives: CHAMPIONS

Jaiczielle (Jaicz Jaicz), 5 | B-Cell A.L.L. at age 3 ½

Jaiczielle or as everyone calls him Jaicz Jaicz was diagnosed 12/18/2019 at the age of 3 and a half years old.

When he was first diagnosed, he had a very hard time.  He would be home only for 2-day intervals, would catch fevers, and then be readmitted for 7 to 14 days at a time. On one occasion, Jaicz caught a bacterial infection that doctors said if he would have not been in the hospital that day at the onset of fever, he would not be here today. Jaicz Jaicz has matured so fast not by choice but by circumstance. He fights and is so brave. Now at 5 years old he has adapted to his medical care being part of his life. 

He loves to create things with his hands. He is a huge Lego lover. Super Mario and Batman and Joker are his favorite. He loves to draw and play tag zombies with his dad. Give him any building object and he can make you some pretty cool things! He is full of life, happy with a giggle and smile that is contagious. When asked what he wants to be when he grows up, he replied ” I want to be strong! So, I can lift heavy things!” Little does he understand that his amazing strength is what made us strong and lifted us from our knees on the darkest days. He is a warrior our hero! We are strong because we are Jaicz Jaicz strong. 

Israel, 9 | Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia ( A.L.L.)

Israel Lopez Diaz fue diagnosticado con leucemia linfoblastica aguda ( ALL) en abril 24, 2018 días antes de su cumpleaños número 6. Fue una batalla difícil y dura pero Gracias a dios y a todos los doctores y enfermeras de Banner children’s at Dessert el pudo acabar su 

Tratamiento Diciembre 31, 2020 y tocó la campana que venció el cancer lo logró con mucha fe, esperanza, y el amor de toda su familia. El es un niño muy fuerte y alegre en su tiempo libre le gusta jugar vídeo juegos, soccer, football con sus amigos.  Para aquellos que están pasando por una batalla similar les podemos desir que tengan mucha fe y nunca la pierdan porque dios es grande y los doctores son unos ángeles y primero Dios ganaran su batalla como Israel lo iso. 

Israel Lopez Diaz was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) on April 24, 2018 days before his 6th birthday. It was a tough and tough battle but Thank God and all the doctors and nurses at Banner Children’s at Dessert he was able to finish it.

Treatment December 31, 2020 and he rang the bell that beat cancer, he achieved it with a lot of faith, hope, and the love of his entire family. He is a very strong and happy boy. In his free time, he likes to play video games, soccer, football with his friends. For those who are going through a similar battle we can tell you to have a lot of faith and never lose it because God is great and the doctors are angels and first God will win their battle as Israel is.

Lily, 7 | ALL – Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Our little girl, Lily, was three years old at the time and had been sick on and off again for months.  When her fever spiked from an ear infection, we took her to the emergency room.   Within hours we were dealt the most devastating blow a parent can ever receive…our Lily had leukemia. 

The financial, physical, and mental stress of a child fighting for their lives is overwhelming as a parent. Lily spent over a month living in the hospital and our lives turned upside down overnight. Over the 2.5 years of her treatment, she lost her hair twice, experienced liver failure, endured over 29 surgeries, lost hearing in her left ear, and spent almost a year in quarantine due to her fragile condition.  

Through all of her pain and suffering, Lily continued to warm us with her bright smile and big laugh.  Her spunky and tenacious attitude never failed.  With tired legs and aching bones, Lily still never stopped trying to run, dance and play and it was all we could do to keep up with her.  She has taught us that life is too short to waste, that dreams have to be chased and that family and love are the most precious gifts of all. 

Today, Lily is seven years old and cancer free!  Her hair has grown back, her hearing loss has been repaired and she is loving every moment of a life free from treatments.  She is still unstoppable: loves to run, dance, swim and play!   We thank God every day for the gift of Lily.  Her journey is the inspiration behind our family founding the nonprofit – Lily’s Pad.

Lily’s Pad is working to give every child the freedom to play!

Christian, 7 | Brain Cancer

During a routine exam in June 2016, it was discovered that Christian had no vision in his right eye and was diagnosed with Brain Cancer.  Brain surgery left him completely blind, and life as we knew it, changed forever.

Life revolved around chemo, countless MRI’s and daily medication to treat permanent effects caused by the tumor.

Christian has taken his “disability” and turned it into his ABILITY! He is an amazing boy that puts forth his happiness and positivity in everything he does and with everyone he meets. He loves swimming, playing drums, and riding his bike. In school, and with SAAVI (Southern Arizona Association for the Visually Impaired) he is learning to read and write braille, use his walking cane, and tackle daily life activities. He is not afraid to try or learn new things, and won’t stop until he gets it right! 

Christian continues to have MRIs every 3 months, as well as specialty appointments to monitor treatments for permanent illness caused by the tumor.

Amidst all of these continuous challenges and changes, Christian continues to thrive. He reminds us every day that nothing is impossible as long as we have faith and hope.

Maddie, 6 | MDS

Maddie was diagnosed with MDS at 18 months and is currently 5 years cancer free! When Maddie grows up she wants to be a veterinarian because she loves her dog and all animals. If she could have any superpower she would have snow and ice power like Elsa to make her own ice castle! If she could she would go swimming every single day and her “bucket list” is to visit Disneyworld.

Ayden, 4 | B Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Ayden is a 4 year old little ray of sunshine! He always has a smile on his face and is just one of the happiest little guys I know! He was diagnosed with B Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on July 26, 2018, after a couple of months of trying to figure out what was going on with his little body. In May 2018 he fell and hurt his knee, we thought it was broken so we took him to an urgent care and they did X-rays and said he fractured his tibia. We then went to an orthopedic doctor and they reviewed the X-rays and checked him out and decided it was not a fracture, there was just some missing bone because his knee were not fully developed yet. We went home and over the next month Ayden was still limping and still in a lot of pain. We took him back to the orthopedic doctor after talking to our pediatrician and they did more X-rays and still determined there was no fracture before or then and there was nothing wrong with his leg and they sent us to physical therapy. We did PT for a couple of weeks but his pain throughout his day at school was worsening and he was tired a lot and things just did not see, right. We went back to the pediatrician again for more answers and she sent us to an ER to get blood work and more X-rays. That is when they discovered he could possibly have leukemia. We were admitted immediately and they began the testing to confirm his diagnosis. Ayden is the strongest, bravest, happiest boy I know! He is fighting cancer like a champ!

Nico, 1

Nico was diagnosed when he was 1 year old. He had his first bone marrow transplant when he was 2 years old and the second one when he was 3 1/2 years old. He was treated at PCH by a wonderful team of doctors and nurses.
We are so fortunate to have an almost 8-year-old and healthy boy!

Milana, 3 | Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)

Milana had been suffering from weakness, sweatiness and a low-grade fever. She visited her pediatrician and the emergency room, but no diagnosis was made.

The day Milana stopped walking and attempted to crawl out of bed, I knew there was something significantly wrong. Bone scans were performed, but she was in so much pain. I insisted a blood test be ordered immediately. The simple blood test showed she had cancer.

When Milana returned from her port-placement surgery, I realized that our life you never be the same. I was full of fear that if the 30-month chemotherapy treatment would fail, I would lose my daughter.

The first 20 days of treatment were crucial. Her appearance and voice changed and the steroid-enhanced therapy made her irritable. I would hold her tight in my arms and tell her how much I love her.

As a single mother, it has been emotionally and financially exhausting. This tough journey has impacted the whole family. My parents even quit their jobs in Moscow, Russia and moved to the USA to help with Milana’s treatment.
The love for my daughter has kept me going for two years now.

I will do everything in my power to provide the best for her. I dream of the cancer free future for our children and families. -Milana’s Mom

Dylan, 7 | Rhabdomyosarcoma

Dylan is a smart and incredibly sweet 7 year old boy. He is also autistic and non-verbal. He was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma on May 25, 2018. Despite his difficulty communicating with others, he is pushing through his treatment like a true warrior. Our family is so proud of him and incredibly grateful to all of the medical professionals who are caring for him with great patience and love.

Jonathan, Diagnosed at Age 10 | T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

On September 11, 2009 our world was turned upside down when we heard the words “your son has Cancer”. As parents you live with the illusion you can protect your children. Four small words shattered that illusion and our family was thrown into the “Pediatric Cancer World”.

Jonathon endured 3 ½ years of chemotherapy and radiation and we are happy to report he is now a Freshman at NAU and is Cancer Free!

Our personal experience as a childhood cancer family was the inspiration behind CHAMP. We discovered the need for families to get connected to a network of support soon after diagnosis and the importance of the community to be educated and empowered to make a difference in the lives of children and their families impacted by cancer.

Thank you for your support. You Truly make a difference!