Author Archives: Isaac Kiehl

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.

Ayden, 5 | B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Ayden is 5 years old and was diagnosed in July 2018 with B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, after falling and hurting his leg. Ayden loves to play and watch baseball! He loves dinosaurs and cars! 

Cancer has definitely changed our family, we are not always able to just get up and to do things, our daily routines have changed and we have to remember medicines, masks, and hand sanitizers. Cancer, Steroids, Mercaptopurine, Neutropenia, are all normal words in our household and used among all of our children. 

Cancer has also made us so much more grateful for all that we have and reminds us each day to be thankful for each moment we all have with each other! 

Ayden takes on every day with a smile and he is the strongest person we know. Every day he inspires us to keep on going no matter what life throws our way! 

Gisela, 3 | Rhabdomyosarcoma

The cancer has totally changed our way of seeing life. We could not believe that she has cancer and how strong she’s been through her treatment. She’s full of life and the energy that she has it’s amazing. It has taken a toll on the family but with her energy she really is giving us a lesson in the way we see life.

For my daughter it’s been hard when she has to get admitted to the hospital and not be able to go home. The second hardest moment was when her hair fell off she cried. Thinking about not having hair was very hard could not understand why it’s taking so long to grow back. Getting access for her chemotherapy or procedures.

My daughter loves to play with her toys and dolls and brothers. Playing in the backyard with her brothers and enjoying her swimming pool.

She likes going to Peter Piper Pizza, Chuckee Cheese to play and ride the cars. That’s where she forgets about being sick. 

Her brothers and grandparents mean a lot to her because she knows they are waiting for her at home. She comes home after chemotherapy and forgets about being sick. She gives her grandparents a hug and kiss, shows them what they did to her in the hospital or doctor’s office.

She likes to get in the pool and play with her toys it makes her happy.

Even though she’s tired after her chemotherapy, she’s always happy and smiling. She always has energy to play and say I’m not sick.

She doesn’t like cancer. Her saying is “I’m not sick, I’m ok”.

Yamilet, 4 | Wilms Tumor

Yamilet is an amazing 4 year old girl. In October 19, 2017 we were hit with hard news that she had a cancerous Wilms tumor and would have to go through surgery. Once her surgery was over we discovered that they removed her tumor, right kidney, and appendix. Her Oncologist wanted to make sure everything was completely removed and had her go through 15 rounds of chemotherapy because she had some lymph nodes removed from her chest. With Yamilet only being 2 years old she really didn’t understand what was happening to her. Every time we arrived to the hospital for her chemotherapy, she would say “Mommy I’m getting an owie”, when it was time for them to access her port. After every chemotherapy, she would leave that hospital stronger than ever hardly any symptoms, being so little and not letting “Cancer” destroy her. I admire Yamilet for defeating cancer at such a young age and staying strong the whole time.

Our precious girl has shown us that if she could go through chemotherapy and defeat cancer she can accomplish anything that she wants in this world.

Larry, 58 | Bone Cancer

Larry Chloupek, a Scottsdale resident and childhood cancer survivor broke the Guinness Book of World Records for a 5k using crutches at the CHAMP 5k 2016 Event.   Larry lost his left leg to bone cancer when he was 7 years old, but that never slowed him down!  He is an accomplished runner with several full and half marathons to his credit including the prestigious Boston Marathon.  

Grayson, 17 | Ewing’s Sarcoma

Diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma at the age of 12. Who would have known that this would change our lives forever?  Grayson went thorough 9 months of chemo and 6 weeks of radiation. He would say that the main thing that affected him was the Neulasta shot which put him in pain for around 2-5 hours, otherwise; he was fine going through his cancer treatments.  He likes Rubik’s Cubes, extreme gaming, movies, video editing and Samsung devices. He would like to go to Japan because it is a unique place. He really enjoys virtual reality because you aren’t just on a computer using a keyboard, you can move around in the real world. 

Grayson has been in remission for 4 years.

Colby, 4 | AFP (Alpha Fetoprotien) Hepatoblastoma

Colby has an incredible story from the day she was born, 4 months early. She was diagnosed with AFP (Alpha Fetoprotien) Hepatoblastoma 1 month before her 2nd birthday. On the initial diagnosis we spent about a week in the pediatric oncology unit and had her first surgery to place the chemotherapy port. She got spend Christmas and New Years at home but spent her 2nd birthday receiving inpatient Chemotherapy. To date Colby is 2 years Cancer Free and counting!

Colby loves her dogs, Disney movies, her friends, the water, and finally getting to go outside! She is an outside kind of girl! 

With Colby and the cancer diagnosis, nothing stops us. Not only is Colby a Cancer Survivor she is also a Micro-Preemie, born at 23 weeks gestation. Colby has known only to fight and keep fighting since the day she was born. The Micro-Preemie and Cancer diagnosis’ have affected me and my family in so many ways – too many to list. Mostly to value life as it truly can be taken in a moment. Time with your loved ones and the precious moments you have with them is a top priority. There isn’t anything life can throw at me that can cause my life any stress – our lives are too short and precious to stress over anything. Smile, there is always something worth smiling about – Colby, my fighter, is home – I have nothing to stress over and everything in the world to smile about. 

KEEP RUNNING/WALKING! YOU’RE DOING GREAT!

Axel, 2 | Neuroblastoma

Axel born March 2013.

Axel was only 2 ½ years old, he was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma.

Saying this came as a shock would be an understatement.

As a result of this newfound cancer diagnosis, Ax began 7 rounds of chemotherapy. Immediately and after we were so blessed to be told that he was NED (No Evidence of Disease). Ax continued the entire course of treatment, underwent a bone marrow transplant, months of immunotherapy, and 15 rounds of radiation; before finally completing treatment in Nov of 2016.

As with all great things, his victory was short-lived. March 2017, Axel had relapsed. With less than a 10 % chance of survival, he began treatment again almost immediately. He in endured countless chemo and immunotherapy treatments, plus an additional 10 rounds of radiation, all to no avail. We began our desperate search for a treatment trial across the United States. In July Ax underwent a MIBG radiation trial in San Francisco and as one, final, last ditch effort, underwent the Neuroblastoma T-cell trial in Seattle in November of 2017.

For two months I held my breath, I prayed, I knelt on the ground and begged God not to take him, but our last attempt at saving Ax was unsuccessful. We flew home devastated. Ax began palliative care and his health began to deteriorate rapidly.  His Make a Wish trip to Disney World was expedited. When we returned from Florida, I made the hardest, most heart wrenching decision of my life and I signed his DNR. Ax was transferred to hospice care in Feb 2018. After a tough 2 1/2-year fight, Axel Michael Timmons finally won his battle with cancer on March 13th, 2018 when he was granted his angel wings and made his way into the gates of Heaven.

Ax was the light of my life and honestly IS the bravest, most inspiring person I have ever known. He was always happy, even when he had no reason to be. He was a kind and gentle soul, charismatic and funny. I vow to help others in honor and memory of Axel and to keep his memory alive for the remainder of my life. My goal in life is to inspire others in the ways he has inspired me to be a better, loving, and more compassionate person.

Airick, 7 | Glioblastoma

Airick is more than a conqueror. He is a fighter. Diagnosed at 4 with Glioblastoma Our family is so happy to say he is 3 years cancer free and ready to take on the world. He says he is special and wishes he can help other sick children get through this sickness. He loves to ride his dirt bike and go swimming with his friends and loves Mexico.