Young cancer patients find care and comfort at Valley Children's Hospital

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The halls of the Craycroft Unit are familiar to Victor Miranda. He has spent so much time at Valley Children's Hospital he can explain how a broviac tube works. (KFSN)

The halls of the Craycroft Unit are familiar to Victor Miranda. He has spent so much time at Valley Children's Hospital he can explain how a broviac tube works.

"It lets me get fluids and I don't get shots when they draw blood."

Life for the active eight-year-old changed this spring.

"He started showing a lot of bruising on his legs, and at first we thought it could just be from sports-- he was very active in soccer and playing in school and everything," said Janette Fernandez, Victor's mother.

The bruises didn't go away and more spots appeared.

"I had little red dots on me and I kept getting bruises and I never felt good," said Miranda.

Victor was diagnosed with Leukemia, a diagnosis that would devastate any parent.

"I was like so heartbroken, I didn't know what to think, what to expect," said Fernandez.

The hospital's Cancer and Blood Diseases Center treats more than 100 new cancer cases each year and it is one of the busiest in the nation.

Faisal Razzaqi, a Pediatric Oncologist, said, "There's about three to four thousand kids who are diagnosed with Leukemia every year in the United States, and I would say about one to one thousand to 1,500 of them have AML, which is the type Victor has."

Victor finished his fourth round of chemotherapy, which can take a toll on a little body.

"The chemotherapy, although it's getting rid of the cancer cells, unfortunately it also affects your immune system as well and, so that makes your white blood cell low and you're unable to fight infections," said Dr. Razzaqi.

Child Life Specialists can help kids cope.

"So we bring therapeutic activities to the room, either to help express emotions, get out energy, and just for recreation to bring a little bit of normalization to the hospital," said Sarah Freer, Child Life Specialist.

With each passing day, comes a greater appreciation of the specialized care available here.

"It just made us feel so much at ease knowing he was the doctor that was helping our son," said Fernandez.

Victor's family is so grateful, they ramped up efforts to give to others. Their Spread the Blessing Campaign promotes acts of kindness-- from providing snacks to hospital staff and parents, to feeding the homeless.

"The situation we came here was not the best, but it's changed our perspective on so many other things and we are finding purpose through this," said Fernandez.

The family wants others to support the hospital that has given them hope.

"We're not going to be any poorer for giving a little bit to our community," said Fernandez.

A community that cares for kids like Victor.

Related Topics:
healthcancerchildrenValley childrens hospitalMadera
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