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Andrew is a very active little boy. He loves to play and get into trouble with his twin brother Alex. Andrew and Alex are very close; they love to play, talk, run, and fight all day long. Andrew loves food, especially spaghetti, and likes to watch Thomas The Train. Andrew is very sweet and loving, and loves to kiss and touch his Mommy’s face. While he may seem shy at first, Andrew is a very sweet, kind boy.
In December, Andrew had been taking antibiotics for an ear infection. While his ear was getting better, there was something wrong with his left eye. First diagnosed as pink eye, Andrew’s eye became very swollen and became to “stick out.” A new pediatrician ordered a CT scan, which revealed a 4.5cm mass that was pushing his optical socket and pituitary gland. Immediately, the family was transferred via ambulance to the Kaiser Oakland PICU, where Andrew underwent an MRI and eventually a biopsy to determine the specific type of cancer. The tumor was deemed inoperable, and Andrew was diagnosed with Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma Stage IV. A secondary tumor was also located in his right leg.
Andrew was then scheduled for 54 weeks of chemotherapy, as well as 24 sessions of proton beam radiation. Currently, he is almost halfway through his chemo. Andrew’s parents continue to hope for good health for Andrew, as well as a semblance of normality. Andrew’s mom remembers how quickly everything changed: “We were getting ready to take the kids to Chuck E Cheese, when we have to rush Andrew to the hospital.” Andrew’s mom hopes that the family’s life can return to normal after Andrew is cured, and that the family can pick up where they left off.
Throughout treatment, Andrew has remained perseverant, encouraging and loving. Andrew never complains and keeps his parents going. His parents say ‘hope’ allows the family to stay strong, as well as the amazing energy of their son.
Quote, provided by Andrew’s mom:
“Andrew has a four-year-old brother and when Andrew start losing his hair, my four-year-old asked me "Why?” I explained that some of the medications that Andrew was taking were having that effect on him. Andrew’s brother said "I don’t want his hair to fall out.” I could not handle it anymore and I started crying. Then the unbelievable happened: my four-year-old comforting mommy with a hug and telling me, “Mommy, Andrew is going to be ok because God is with him.” Then I cried even more, but it was pure joy that even my four-year-old could express that with words.”
Today, Andrew is celebrating five years off treatment. He is doing great and thriving. Andrew is in second grade and he loves nerf guns. He has been healthy with no issues and he continues showing us courage and hope. You can find further updates on his Facebook page.
Information provided by Marcela Chastain, Andrew’s mom
Last Updated: January 2021
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