A True Champion

Luke and Rudy

My son, Luke, was 8 years old when he came home from a school party feeling ill. He had also begun losing weight. I was concerned and made an appointment for him to see his primary care physician. Following lab work, we were sent to the Emergency Department at Rady Children’s where Luke was diagnosed with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

We had hoped that Luke would be considered cancer-free after one month of treatment, however, it was nine months of treatment before he went into remission. During Luke’s treatment, we found out we were expecting our third child, Ruby.

Then the unimaginable. On Christmas Eve 2021, I noticed leg bruises, swollen glands, and little red dots on Ruby’s abdomen. In my heart, I knew that Ruby had leukemia. We decided to let our children open presents on Christmas morning before taking Ruby to Rady Children’s where she diagnosed with cancer at 18 months old.

Luke, now 11, finished treatment in April 2022 and continues to receive monthly check-ups. Ruby, 2, still has two years left of treatment.

Rady Children’s offers families an incredible support system that is funded in large measure by Celebration of Champions®. Parent liaisons, who have experience with their own child’s diagnosis, support parents through a shared experience. Child Life specialists explain procedures to patients, making sure they understand what to expect in a calm and comforting way. These programs are only made possible through Celebration of Champions®.

Our family experienced Celebration of Champions® for the first time in May 2022. We loved participating with the amazing staff who have treated our children. Thanks for supporting patients like Luke and Ruby.

With great appreciation,

Lindsey and Jason Hayworth