Grayson & Jay’s Stories | Two Stories, Two Boys
Celebrating 25 years of helping kids beating cancer. Saving Lives — One Transplant at a Time.
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.
Mandy | 6
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 | 19
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 | 16
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.
Matthew (Matty) | 17
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.
Armando (AJ) | 6
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.
In Memory of Arthur | 20
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.
Charlotte | 4
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 now five years old and can’t wait to go to kindergarten. She’s looking forward to getting well enough to go to Walt Disney World again and ride the roller coasters.
Cheyenne | 12
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 | 14
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 | 14
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.”
Dayton | 6
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.
Desi | 7
Desi was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) on September 19, 2013. She enjoys playing with her American Girl® dolls and performing, singing, acting and dancing. She is a little fish loving the ocean and sunshine. Her journey has had a few setbacks, but has turned around with her strength, resilience and the grace of God. She is currently in treatment and doing well. Desi may just take up a triathlon one day!
Eden | 4
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.
Gabriella | 12
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.
Grayson | 11
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 will then undergo more radiation treatments. He is an inspiration to everyone around him and always has a smile on his face.
Hailey | 5
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 | 11
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.
Jayden | 10
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.
Kaishawn | 5
Kaishawn was diagnosed with sickle cell disease (SCD) at two weeks old. He is currently on Hydroxyurea and Penicillin. He’s a very lovable boy who enjoys to dance. His favorite characters are Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles — he admires everything about them. He will have a transplant this year at the Kids Beating Cancer Pediatric Transplant Center.
Katelyn (KK) | 8
KK was diagnosed with high-risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) on February 21, 2012. She is very outgoing and brings a little sparkle with her everywhere she goes. KK enjoys playing with her American Girl® dolls, playing dress up and likes to take a swim. She wants to be a teacher, and she loves ballet and jazz. KK finished her last round of treatment in June 2014 and is currently cancer-free!
Lauren | 11
Lauren was diagnosed with Burkitt’s lymphoma in 2005 when she was two years old. She received her transplant from a chord 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.
Marcus | 15
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 | 9
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!”
Morgan | 9
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.
Princeton | 5
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 | 7
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.
Sofia | 8
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.
Wesley | 21
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, he graduated from Harvard University in government and today works in Washington D.C.
Logan | 6
Logan was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in July of 2013. Her family was very excited when she finished her chemotherapy treatment on Thursday, October 8, 2015! Logan loves makeup, collecting and playing with American Girl® dolls, and wants to be a makeup artist when she grows up. She is always making us laugh and keeps us on our toes!