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Sam is an outgoing kid who loves soccer and sushi. He is kind to everyone and loves to read and play Roblox with his friends. He is very sensitive and cares for others, even his little sister!
When Sam was 3-and-a-half his parents found a large lump on the side of his abdomen. He didn't show any other symptoms, but they took him in to the pediatrician just in case. There, they were told he needed to get an ultrasound right away and some blood work done. That night they learned he had cancer.
Sam underwent a seven-hour surgery. For three months, he was deemed cancer-free. Unfortunately, it came back in the tumor bed, and had to be treated like stage 4 neuroblastoma. Sam endured four rounds of chemo, a stem cell transplant, 20 rounds of radiation, and five rounds of immunotherapy. Thankfully, he has been cancer-free since June of 2017!
His mom, Jami, hopes that Sam will continue to be cancer-free and that his long-term effects will remain minimal. She dreams of a future where kids cancer is taken as seriously as breast cancer and funded in the same way. “These are kids that deserve to have a future,” said Jami.
Sam is Jami’s hero because he goes through the world in a very curious and open way. He's always asking questions and contemplating the world around him. He faces his fears and demonstrates so much courage that he inspires her to want to be a better human.
Today, Sam has to return to the hospital for scans and blood tests once a year.
“It is a rollercoaster,” said Jami about Sam’s childhood cancer diagnosis. “Even when treatment is over, it's not over. Just be prepared for a long journey of dealing with emotions and all of the stuff you didn't have time to deal with during treatment. Seek help anywhere you can through counseling and organizations that support cancer kid families. You don't have to navigate this alone.”
To Jami, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) means that there are people out there who care about kids and are willing to do anything possible to help. Her family holds bake sales every year, and Jami works for ONEHOPE, so she tries to fundraise through wine tastings frequently – all for ALSF.
“Keep moving forward like the GOAT, Messi!” - Sam
Information provided by Jami R., Sam’s mom
Updated July 2023
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