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Benjamin is a joyful little boy who reminds his family to see the beauty in every situation. He was diagnosed with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia at 2 years old but still manages to live freely despite the limitations of his illness.
After his diagnosis, Ben’s family faced some major changes like his physical health, their mental health, his parents’ careers, and the family’s everyday lives. They decided to live presently in each phase of treatment instead of planning ahead. He began treatment at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in November 2019 and is set to end in August 2022 if his prognosis remains positive. In the meantime, he receives chemotherapy, but has faced several delays due to improper counts.
Despite the hardships of treatment, Ben has demonstrated incredible resilience, screaming and crying one moment, then happy as can be the next. Since Ben is too little to fully comprehend his situation, his parents find great beauty in his ability to live in the present and find joy in every day. His mom says, “the beauty in it is that they live freely, even within the limits they have.” Because Ben doesn’t have the same thought process as a grown-up, it is a simple decision for him to choose joy, which has inspired his family to do the same.
Now with the COVID-19 pandemic, Benjamin’s delayed intensification – one of the most difficult times in treatment – continues. He goes to the hospital one to two times a week, and with the virus at hand, his family’s stress levels are heightened. Only one parent is allowed to visit with Ben and being unable to fight together has been hard on the whole family, especially his 6-year-old sister, Amelia. Just when they were battling back strong, the pandemic meant sacrificing a major source of comfort.
Ben’s family is glad to have Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) as a testament that they are not alone. ALSF sent Ben a care package for his family filled with necessities, like toilet paper and bandanas. The bandanas had come at the perfect time too. Ben was losing his hair for the second time, and his dad joined him in shaving his head. Now the two bald boys never leave the house without them on – Amelia even likes to match. Although these are unprecedented times, ALSF serves as a reminder to Ben’s family that the goodness of humanity can be found in the simplest of things.
Information provided by Kelly Pin, Ben’s mom
Updated June 2020
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