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Max is a creative 6-year-old who loves to use his imagination. Whether he’s painting, drawing, building with legos or using his magnetic tiles, Max always knows just how to keep his mind at work. As the eldest kid in his family and a soon-to-be first grader, Max is ready to take on the world with his sweet demeanor and loving heart. But first, he’s had to face Burkitt’s lymphoma, also known as Burkitt's leukemia.
When Max was 3 years old, he started getting unexpected nosebleeds and knee pains. His pediatrician amounted such things to growing pains and dehydration amid the heat, but things changed in November 2020. Max grew lethargic and started developing new symptoms like night sweats and vomiting. Three more trips to the pediatrician yielded other misdiagnoses until December, when his family took him to Rady Children’s Hospital for blood work. There, they discovered the true cause of his illness: leukemia.
That day, Max was told not to leave the hospital. He began receiving treatments like vincristine, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, G-CSF, methotrexate, rituximab and more. The first three weeks were intense, but Max persevered. Although the road through treatment was never easy, today, Max is cancer-free!
Now, Max’s mom, Claudia, dreams of a long healthy life for her son. She says her hope is that, “In general, for our government to do something more than just 4% [of cancer funding] to save our kids in the future. I want to be able to help and find a cure, better treatment for our babies.” Max is her hero and her everything, because through it all, he remains smart, strong, loving and caring.
For other families facing a childhood cancer diagnosis, Claudia says, “Be strong, pray, don’t ever give up and cry if you need to.” She wants to remind others that it’s okay to be human and feel whatever you need to feel when everything seems to be falling apart. She encourages others not to be afraid to ask for help.
Although their family hasn’t been with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) for long, they see the Foundation as an amazing way to keep fighting. In the future, Max and his family hope to join forces with ALSF to help find cures for all cancers.
Hero quote: “Keep dancing, keep smiling!” – Max
Information provided by Claudia, Max's mom
Updated August 2022
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