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Getting To Know Childhood Cancer: Three Hero Stories You Have to Watch

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Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) founder Alex Scott battled neuroblastoma. When she began hosting lemonade stands, her family thought Alex would want the money raised to help kids who were also diagnosed with neuroblastoma.

But Alex had other plans—she wanted to help all kids. Alex wanted to find cures for all types of childhood cancer. Alex knew that cures weren’t just for her. Cures are what every child deserves. 

Every day, 36 children in the United States are diagnosed with cancer. Childhood cancer is not just one disease. There are about a dozen types and hundreds of subtypes. Every treatment plan is different. Every childhood cancer hero is different. But there is one thing that unites them all:

They are just kids who want to be kids.

Here are three childhood cancer stories you have to watch:

Blaze

Blaze was just 3 years old when his mom noticed lumps on his neck. Soon after, doctors discovered he had pre-B acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common form of childhood leukemia that affects the white blood cells of the body.

Blaze began the standard treatment for ALL close to home; but Blaze’s leukemia kept coming back. His best hope for remission was at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

The only issue: it was 500 miles away from his home in Ohio.

ALSF's Travel for Care program provided financial assistance to help Blaze’s family get from Ohio to Philadelphia. Blaze is now 11 years old and continues on a promising CAR T cell immunotherapy protocol with hopes of putting his leukemia into remission once and for all.

Zach

When Zach, now 13, was just a kindergartener, he was diagnosed with anaplastic large cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Lymphoma is a cancer of the body’s lymphatic system that is responsible for moving excess fluids throughout the body, absorbing and transporting fatty acids and shifting white blood cells between the blood and bone marrow. There are several types of lymphoma—but Zach’s type only comprises about 1-percent of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

The initial treatment did not work and Zach relapsed immediately. He kept getting sicker and sicker.

Zach’s doctors told his parents about a clinical trial that targeted ALK, a protein present in some types of childhood cancer. The treatment was a risk—and it was a risk that paid off. Zach’s cancer disappeared.

Kaela 

When Kaela was 5 years old, she lost her left leg to osteosarcoma, the most common type of bone cancer in children.

“The past was horrifying and it kind of stinks to look back. However, now, I've learned to be grateful, think positive, love myself for who I am and to be proud of my many accomplishments,” said Kaela.

Kaela fought with all her heart. She learned how to live with one leg—and how to thrive. She completed her first triathlon when she was just 6 years old, using a walker. Now, Kaela is an accomplished junior Paralympic athlete.

But most important, Kaela is 16 years old and cancer-free.

Watch more childhood cancer hero stories, here.