Children’s Stories

Children’s Stories drive us to do more!

Grayson & Jay’s Stories | Two Stories, Two Boys

Celebrating 25 years of helping kids beating cancer. Saving Lives — One Transplant at a Time.

 


Mandy

Mandy was diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma in November 2011, had six rounds of high-dose chemotherapy, a 10-hour tumor re-section, two autologous (self) stem cell transplants at the Kids Beating Cancer Pediatric Transplant Center on May 21, 2012 and on July 18, 2012, radiation and six months of antibody therapy. Mandy was off treatment for almost two years when she relapsed in March 2015. Since she last relapsed, she’s done 22 more cycles of chemotherapy and is still active in treatment. Mandy loves to sing, do ballet, arts and crafts and play with her American Girl® dolls.

 


 Mikala

At the age of two, Mikala was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), went into remission and then was diagnosed at age 15 with myelodysplastic syndrome. She was the 12th child transplanted at the Kids Beating Cancer Pediatric Transplant Center and first unrelated donor transplant on June 21, 2012. Mikala met her donor at 2014’s Hats & Heroes Ball. Today, Mikala is attending Rollins College and is a Kids Beating Cancer ambassador.


Theo

Theo was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome. He was the 13th child to be transplanted at the Kids Beating Cancer Pediatric Transplant Center on August 9, 2012 and the second patient to receive an unrelated donor. Theo was in the Kids Beating Cancer Transplant Center for 263 days. He’s currently receiving dialysis three days a week while he awaits a kidney transplant. In September, Theo’s immune markers returned to normal for the first time since his transplant! Theo celebrated his four-year anniversary post transplant on August 9, 2016. Theo started college classes early and serves as an ambassador for Kids Beating Cancer.


Abigail

Abigail was diagnosed with Diamond Blackfan Anemia in 2018. Abigail received her bone marrow transplant on September 21, 2018 at the Kids Beating Cancer Pediatric Transplant Center. Her older sister, Meredith, was her donor. Her My Room theme was Frozen.


Aidan

Aidan was diagnosed with Sickle Cell Anemia. His older brother, Austin, was his donor. Aidan is now 2.5 years post bone marrow transplant and is doing amazing! He’s a huge fan of all the characters from the Disney movie “Cars”. Now that he is healthy and no longer on restrictions, he is currently playing sports and loving it!


Anna

Anna is now in the 6th grade at Montverde Academy and she loves her school and her friends. She is back to enjoying her after school activities—tennis, equestrian, piano, and ballet. Anna is loving ballet classes with her friend, Emily, that had the same diagnosis (MDS monosomy7) and is also a bone marrow transplant survivor. Anna is still passionate about animals; she loves spending time with her dogs, cats, bunnies, and horses. She wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up. Anna is still the happiest little girl we know.


Armando (AJ)

AJ was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) on October 1, 2010 and ended treatment on February 14, 2014, and is currently in remission. AJ is a very active boy; he loves to play video games and sports, especially basketball. He likes to share, and is very sweet and caring.

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In Memory of Arthur

Arthur was a two-time survivor of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Arthur relapsed and received a transplant at the Kids Beating Cancer Pediatric Transplant Center from an unrelated donor in 2016. In January 2017, Arthur relapsed again.  He wanted to thank all of the wonderful doctors that helped him through his treatments and transplants, along with his family and girlfriend who were always by his side.


Caleb

Caleb was diagnosed with ALL in March of 2012. He relapsed in January of 2017. He received his bone marrow transplant from an unrelated donor on July 28, 2017. Caleb is currently 2-years post-transplant and loves playing baseball!


In Memory of Cashmere | 10

Cashmere, was diagnosed with leukemia in October 2013 and finished chemotherapy treatment in February 2016. Cashmere relapsed with leukemia in July 2016 after a bone marrow biopsy. She received a bone marrow transplant in December 2016 at the Kids Beating Cancer Pediatric Transplant Center from an unrelated donor. She was a free spirit with a lot of pizzazz. She loved to dance, dress up and be an artist. She wanted to grow up to be a child life specialist. She loved to play with her American Girl Dolls®, Grace and Lea, and visit the princesses at Walt Disney World.


Charlotte

Charlotte was diagnosed with severe aplastic anemia (SAA) when she was three years old. She received a bone marrow transplant from an unrelated donor in 2016 at the Kids Beating Cancer Pediatric Transplant Center.  She is doing amazing since her bone marrow transplant three years ago! She loves going to ballet, tap, and jazz class every week. She also loves going to Disney to ride the rides and see the princesses and Busch Gardens to see the animals. She is so happy to be able to do all the fun stuff with her friends!


Cheyenne

Cheyenne was diagnosed with sickle cell disease (SCO) since birth. By the age of seven, Cheyenne had endured two strokes, intensive therapy, brain surgery, weekly chronic blood transfusions and countless hospital stays. In 2013, Cheyenne’s oldest sister, 14-year-old Cymiah was a perfect match for her bone marrow transplant. The transplant was a success. Today, Cheyenne has the opportunity to go to the beach and shop with her mom and sister. “Thank you for your continued support for Kids Beating Cancer and a host of blood diseases, if it was not for you, our success stories would not be possible.”


Christopher

Christopher was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in 2010 in Puerto Rico; he then relapsed on March 11, 2013. He received a bone marrow transplant at St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. In August, he visited St. Jude’s for his annual checkup and is doing well. He likes going to Orlando Magic games and playing video games.


Dalen

Dalen was 11 years old when he was first diagnosed with optic pathway glioma (brain tumors that cause vision loss). He lost all vision in his left eye and partially in his right eye. “How could this be, this super cool kid with so much potential can no longer see?” Dalen did not let the tumors stop his dreams. “Just because you have been diagnosed with a disease that will take your vision, a disease that will have you on chemo treatments, that will have you sick for the majority of the week, a disease that will prevent you from going outside and playing with the rest of the kids, and a disease that will make you feel like you’ve lost all hope.” When you think of superheroes you think of a fairytale cartoon character who saves the world from villains. But, now when his mom thinks of a superhero, she thinks of Dalen. Through this entire journey, his mother has encouraged him. “Dalen keeps fighting no matter what and I’m so happy to be his mother.”


Danny

Danny Mathews was born on June 17, 2001 in Orlando, Florida. At the age of 16, Danny was diagnosed with Hepatosplenic T-CELL Lymphoma, a rare type of cancer. On May 11, 2018, Danny received a Bone Marrow Transplant from his sister, Ashlee Mathews. Danny likes to go fishing and spend time with his family.


Dayton

Dayton was diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma on September 30, 2015. Leading up to his transplant, Dayton’s family was in and out of the hospital for chemotherapy, and could sometimes only be at home for one week out of the month. His family always made the best of it, even when they were stuck at the hospital for weeks at a time. On February 25, 2016, he finally received his transplant at the Kids Beating Cancer Pediatric Transplant Center, (February 25 will now act as a second birthday for Dayton, which he is very excited about!). Dayton loves to collect things, especially seashells! He also loves playing Disney Infinity on his PlayStation®, and playing outside with his cousins. Dayton is very thankful for his family and is excited about being able to do normal things that he hasn’t been able to do until his transplant.


Deon

Deon was diagnosed with Sickle Cell Anemia since birth. He received his bone marrow transplant on June 22, 2018 at the Kids Beating Cancer Pediatric Transplant Center. His older brother, Leonard, was his donor. His My Room theme was Golden State Warriors.


Eden

Eden was two years old when she was diagnosed with stage IV high-risk neuroblastoma on June 2, 2014. She received an autologous (self) bone marrow transplant on November 12, 2014. Eden has been in remission since January 27, 2015. Her last treatment was July 26, 2015. Eden is a burst of energy that loves to sing, dance, and make others smile. She says that God made each of us special. When she grows up she wants to be a veterinarian. She proudly attends Orlando Christian Prep in the Pre-K program.


Emily

Emily was diagnosed with MDS Monosomy in 2016. She received her transplant at Duke University Hospital where her sister, Kendall, was her donor. She has been doing her follow up visits at the Kids Beating Cancer Pediatric Transplant Center. Emily’s biggest passion is to give to others. Emily has donated over $500 to Kids Beating Cancer this year.


Fiona



Fiona was diagnosed with AML Leukemia on November 27, 2018. She spent seven months in the hospital missing almost every holiday after Thanksgiving except New Years. Luckily, she had so many loving nurses, child life workers, music therapy, and other amazing people to help her through. After 170 doses of chemo and 8 radiation treatments, her bone marrow team was able to find a 100% match donor. Fiona was finally able to come home late May 2018 and has been home ever since. She’s doing better than ever and was able to go back to school this year. She has no more restrictions and is finally able to live a normal life.





Gabriella

Gabriella was diagnosed with an optic nerve glioma in 2004. Throughout the years, she has had surgery, chemotherapy and proton therapy. Her condition is stable at this time. Gabriella is in the seventh grade and she is very creative. She enjoys arts, crafts, baking and plays the piano. She likes going to musicals. Despite losing her sight in one eye, having poor peripheral vision, and some balance issues, Gabriella has been playing golf since she was five years old. She currently participates in three different local golf junior tournaments. Gabriella is an ambassador for Kids Beating Cancer.


Grace

Grace was diagnosed with SCID (Severe Combine Immune Deficiency) and was transplanted on May 10, 2012 at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Since moving to Florida, she has followed up at the Kids Beating Cancer Pediatric Transplant Center. She is doing so well that her appointments are getting further apart with the next appointment being until summer of 2021! Grace enjoys art and reading. 


Grant

Grant was diagnosed at 11 months old with T-Cell ALL Leukemia. Grant just celebrated being 2 years cancer free! Grant loves going to the zoo, “Mickey’s House” (Disney), and playing outside. He loves making arts and crafts while spending time with his classmates. He is the best big brother and is always watching out for his brother “Wabs” (Wyatt).


Grayson

Grayson was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in February 2015. He had chemotherapy and radiation and was in remission for about 11 months. He relapsed in July 2016 and is currently undergoing chemotherapy to get into remission so he can have an autologous (self) stem cell transplant at the Kids Beating Cancer Pediatric Transplant Center. He then underwent more radiation treatments. He is an inspiration to everyone around him and always has a smile on his face. Grayson is now cancer free and enjoys his robotics team and working on his YouTube channel, Grayson ZREMAN!


Hailey

Hailey was born March 14, 2011 in Puerto Rico. When she was only one and a half years old she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), Hailey began her treatment in Puerto Rico and after a few months was able to continue her treatment at St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital located in Memphis, Tennessee. After receiving her bone marrow transplant and most recent treatment, Hailey is five years old and cancer free for almost the last three years. Hailey just started kindergarten and she loves her school. She enjoys dressing up and playing with her toys all while enjoying her favorite food, pizza.


Jasmin

Jasmin was diagnosed at birth with sickle cell disease (SCD). She was the first patient to be transplanted at the Kids Beating Cancer Pediatric Transplant Center on June 23, 2011. Her brother, Justan was her donor and today she is disease free! Jasmin is now an ambassador for Kids Beating Cancer.


Jay

Jay was diagnosed in January 2014 with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia after a strange bruise appeared on the back of his knee. Jay relapsed in August 2016 and was admitted to the Kids Beating Cancer Pediatric Transplant Center. He had to have an arm amputation to get rid of a fungal infection to receive his transplant in January 2017 from his father, Nick. After undergoing 18 surgeries and with a stay of 370 days, Jay was released from the Kids Beating Cancer Pediatric Transplant Center. Jay is now cancer free!


Jayden

Jayden was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) when he was eight years old. He received his bone marrow transplant in the Kids Beating Cancer Pediatric Transplant Center on July 12, 2016. His three-year-old sister, Azara, was his donor! He loves to read adventure books, watch Spiderman movies, play football and go to Walt Disney World and LEGOLAND®. His MY ROOM theme was Sonic the Hedgehog.


Jose (Nacho)

Nacho was diagnosed with Aplastic Anemia on April 10, 2017. He received a Cord Blood Transplant at the Kids Beating Cancer Pediatric Transplant Center on April 20, 2017.  Nacho loves to play the cello and soccer. His favorite board game is Clue and he loves to read fiction books.  Nacho’s favorite Disney character is Belle in the Live Action version of Beauty and the Beast, portrayed by Emma Watson. His MY ROOM theme was Batman.  


Kaishawn

Kaishawn was diagnosed with sickle cell disease (SCD) at two weeks old. Kaishawn was diagnosed with Sickle Cell Anemia after 2 weeks of birth. On 9/17/18 he was admitted to the Kids Beating Cancer Pediatric Transplant Center to receive a bone marrow transplant. His new cell day was on 9/28/18; today living free of Sickle Cell. He’s a funny guy that loves Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles and playing basketball.


Kingsley

Kingsley was diagnosed with Sickle Cell Anemia and has fought this battle for 20 years. Kingsley received a bone marrow transplant in September 2018. His little brother, Stefan, has been a hero to this family as he was also a donor for their sister, Vanessa, who suffered from Sickle Cell as well. Kingsley loves football and his favorite team are the Minnesota Vikings! 


Kylie

Kylie was born on November 24, 2017. When Kylie was just in her mother’s tummy, she was diagnosed with HLH from Amniocentesis that her mother took while 6 months pregnant with her. Kylie’s mother took this test due to the fact that her son Chanze had passed on February 24, 2017 from this rare disease. Kylie started her journey with chemotherapy on January 31, 2018, followed by a bone marrow transplant. Today, Kylie is celebrating her 2-year transplant anniversary.


Lauren

Lauren was diagnosed with Burkitt’s lymphoma in 2005 when she was two years old. She received her transplant from a cord blood donor at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle on February 21, 2005. Today she is cancer-free and an ambassador for Kids Beating Cancer.


Leila

Leila was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma in July 2017 at 19 months old. She had tandem transplants with her first one on 12/21/17 and then she completed her second one on 2/13/18. Leila is currently on the DFMO maintenance clinical trial. She likes playing dress up and she loves Minnie Mouse and Peppa Pig. 


Lincoln

Lincoln was diagnosed with high risk, stage 4 neuroblastoma at the age of 10 months. He has had no activity in his tumor for about a year now! He absolutely loves to carry his Barney around with him and watching Moana. He also loves being a big brother to Oliver, who was born in April.


Lukas

Lukas was diagnosed with Leukemia on February 25, 2017 when he was 6 years old. He received his bone marrow transplant on July 25, 2018 from an unrelated donor who he calls his “superhero.” He loves playing with his Hotwheels and all things Superhero!


Marcus

Marcus was a healthy, nearly 10-pound baby boy. He developed and grew normally with no serious problems or illnesses until October 8, 2003. On that day, he was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), a severe adult form of leukemia. He and his brother were tested for transplant and they were a perfect match. His bone marrow transplant was performed at Duke University Medical Center on January 8, 2004. Since then, he has been thriving, growing and developing normally. He is now a healthy 15-year-old and his cancer has been in remission for 12 years. Marcus is an ambassador for Kids Beating Cancer.


Mariah

Mariah was born a beautiful healthy baby on April 12, 2007 and remained healthy until the age of eight. That is when a lot of things changed in her life. In December of 2015, she became very sick and was rushed to the hospital. After undergoing many weeks of testing, she was finally diagnosed with juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML). After several months in and out of the hospital, and many surgeries and procedures, she finally received a bone marrow transplant on March 30, 2016. When she grows up, she wants to be a veterinarian because she loves all types of animals, and would love to save as many of them as possible. She is well on her way toward her dream, but states, “It wouldn’t have been possible without (1) God who is first in my life, (2) the excellent doctors and staff at Florida Hospital for Children (3) the wonderful staff of Kids Beating Cancer and of course (4) my donor, Glenda Woods, who is my mother and (5) my father, Walter Woods, who never left my side. I thank each one of you from the bottom of my heart. I also must say, each and every one of you rock!”


Matthew (Matty)

Matthew was diagnosed with chronic myelogeneous leukemia (CML) in December 2007 at the age of nine. After a long search for a donor, Matty received his bone marrow transplant in June 2008, a few days before his 10th birthday. His beautiful donor, Angelika, lives in Germany. Matty enjoys shooting guns with his great uncles, using his compound bow, horseback riding and spending time around a bonfire in the hills of Tennessee with his family. Matty kept his beautiful smile throughout his cancer journey and has always kept a positive attitude, too. Matty returns to Orlando annually and is one of Kids Beating Cancer’s Ambassadors.


Morgan

Matthew was diagnosed in November 2017 with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma. He had two autologous (self) stem cell transplants, one on April 10, 2018 and one on June 6, 2018. Matthew loves playing Minecraft, building with Legos, and drawing.


Maxwell

Maxwell was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) on February 2, 2018.  He had an unrelated bone marrow transplant at the Kids Beating Cancer Pediatric Transplant Center on October 25, 2018.  Maxwell is an avid golfer. 


Mehkai

Mehkai was diagnosed with Stage 4 High-Risk Neuroblastoma on May 29th, 2018. His two-part two autologous (self) transplants occurred in October and November of 2018 at the Kids Beating Cancer Pediatric Transplant Center. Mehkai loves all types of animals from sea to land and enjoys all things boy. He is currently in remission (NED-no evidence of disease).


Morgan

Morgan was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in August 2010 at the age of three. Morgan completed two years of treatment, then relapsed in 2013 and received a bone marrow transplant with her brother as her donor. After relapsing again in January 2015, she received her second transplant in April 2015 from an unrelated donor in Germany. Recently, she completed chemotherapy and radiation after an isolated central nervous system relapse and is in remission. She enjoys the beach, building Legos®, playing outside and looks forward to returning to school.


Orion

Orion was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma on June 29, 2016. He has received 2 Autologous (self) stem cell transplants at the Kids Beating Cancer Pediatric Transplant Center in March 2017 and May 2017. Orion loves math and science. He is currently learning code for computer gaming and is addicted to Minecraft and YouTube videos. He also loves camping and dance stepping to dubstep music. He is goofy, sweet, sensitive, and incredibly smart!


Princeton

Princeton was diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma at Arnold Palmer Hospital in December 2011; he received an autologous transplant (self) in July 2012. Princeton relapsed in 2013 and continued back to treatment. Princeton recently completed treatment in 2016.


Robert

Robert was diagnosed with sickle cell disease (SCD) at birth. At the age of three, Robert was the first child to receive a cord blood transplant at the Kids Beating Cancer Pediatric Transplant Center, in September 2011. Today Robert is disease-free. He loves swimming and playing soccer.


Sierra

Sierra was diagnosed with Sickle Cell Anemia at birth. She received a related bone marrow transplant on June 13, 2018 at the Kids Beating Cancer Pediatric Transplant Center. Her older sister, Britney, was her donor. Sierra loves to sing gospel music and loves going on cruises with her family.


Sofia

Sofia is eight years old and full of energy and spunk! She was diagnosed with leukemia in October of 2013. In January 2016, Sofia completed her treatment. Her favorite activity is drawing dragons or pretending to be one.


Vanessa

Vanessa was diagnosed with Sickle Cell Anemia at birth.  She received a bone marrow transplant at the Kids Beating Cancer Pediatric Transplant Center.  Her brother, Stefan, was her donor.  Vanessa’s favorite things to do are dance and sing. She loves reading fun historical actions books and her favorite games are Minecraft and any Dungeon related games.  Vanessa loves to go to the movies and going out to eat at restaurants.


Yashiel

Yashiel was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma in January 2016. The following year, he received a two-part autologous transplant in October and December at the Kids Beating Cancer Pediatric Transplant Center. He loves to play baseball and his My Room themes were Mickey Mouse and Cars.


Wesley

At age 12, Wesley was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a life-threatening cancer in which the bone marrow makes a large number of abnormal blood cells. After several months of hospitalization and rounds of chemotherapy, he received a bone marrow transplant from his sister, Lauren, and began the road to recovery. As a middle and high school student, Wesley served the community by sharing his story with others. He performed public service announcements on radio and television, led fundraising teams for the American Cancer Society, and even directed his own blood drives and bone marrow registration events. Wesley has long served as an ambassador for Kids Beating Cancer, providing years of testimonies regarding the importance of giving back to the pediatric cancer community. During his first summer of college, Wesley returned to Kids Beating Cancer as an intern, where he helped establish our social media presence and coordinate the 2013 Hats & Heroes Ball. In 2016. Wesleye graduated from Harvard University in government and today works in Washington D.C. and is an Ambassador for Kids Beating Cancer.


Yashiel

Yashiel was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma in January 2016. The following year, he received a two-part autologous transplant in October and December at the Kids Beating Cancer Pediatric Transplant Center. He loves to play baseball and his My Room themes were Mickey Mouse and Cars.


Zainab

Zainab (Zooba) was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma in August 2016. Zainab received two bone marrow transplants at the Kids Beating Cancer Pediatric Transplant Center. Her father, Wisam, was her donor. Her two MY ROOM themes were Frozen and Tangled. Zooba just celebrated her 2-year transplant anniversary this year with a trip to Disney World compliments of KBC Committee Member, Teresa Collard!


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