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Maverick is just that: a maverick. He was born premature at 24 weeks and two days, and is a surviving twin. He spent his first 164 days in the NICU, he is a happy, spunky babe with bold blue eyes and a contagious smile. He loves his daddy and dogs most of all, but possesses a curious personality. He is a social little guy who cries when anyone leaves his presence, and doesn't hold grudges despite the many painful medical experiences he has endured.
Before he was diagnosed, Maverick was brought to the local pediatrician's office for a distended stomach and reduced appetite. His pediatrician initially thought it was something GI related, but then they discovered a tumor during a CT scan. After an AFP blood test and a liver biopsy at the ER, Maverick received his official diagnosis: stage 3 hepatoblastoma, intermediate risk.
So far, Maverick has had four rounds of chemotherapy. The first round was very difficult, and he ended up in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit twice. The second round was milder, but he wasn’t able to leave the hospital for over a month. Today, Maverick has a liver resection surgery scheduled for August 10. After his surgery, he will undergo two more rounds of chemotherapy.
His parents hope that Maverick will receive the cure for his cancer and that he will go on to live a full and happy life in good health.
“Watching my son literally struggle for survival his entire life has taught me more about life than my entire thirty-five years of life experience,” said Ashley, Maverick’s mom. “We thought once we made it out of the NICU, we were free and clear. Cancer was never on our radar.”
She also says the experience is like a rollercoaster. There is a lot of hurry up and wait. “Lean into your medical team,” she encourages to those who may also be facing a childhood cancer diagnosis. “They'll become like family.”
To Ashley, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) means hope that one day there will be a cure for all childhood cancers, especially hepatoblastoma. In the meantime, she has photos through ALSF’s Flashes of Hope program that capture memories of Maverick with his family.
Information provided by Ashley L., Maverick’s mom
Updated August 2023
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