Valley Children's effort to help young cancer patients feel at home

MADERA, Calif. (KFSN) -- Noah Rodden is teaching staff members at Valley Children's Hospital how to floss and hype.

The active 7-year-old can also teach us a few things about perseverance.

"Sometimes I feel nauseous and the nurses have always been giving me medicine to help me feel better and it makes me feel well taken care of," said Noah.

Noah was admitted to Valley Children's in May.

"The first time was the leg pain and it would just move from one leg to the other and then migrate to his forearms," said Noah's mother, Priscilla.

A bone marrow test confirmed Noah has cancer.

"Oh yeah, it's like a living nightmare right, you hear about it and you know it happens but you never expect it to happen to you or your baby," said Noah's father, Sean.

Noah is now on his second round of chemotherapy to battle Acute myeloid leukemia or AML.

"It's the second most common leukemia in childhood. And the course is mostly with intensive chemotherapies that make their immune system depressed, so they are at higher risk of infections," said pediatric oncologist Doctor John Gates.

He says Valley Children's treats about 160 or more new cases of cancer every year.

Noah spent his birthday and the Fourth of July indoors. His home away from home included visits from furry volunteers well wishes from friends and family. Plus the occasional celebrity visit.

"I got to meet Ms. America and Derek Carr," said Noah.

He also appreciates the real superstars of the Craycroft unit.

"I like Dr. Gates and Dr. Owen and Dr. Fernandez, Dr. Sazi they are all really nice," said Noah.

Valley Children's has eleven oncologists who are also hematologists, a fact not lost on Noah's parents.

"It's been a wonderful experience for our family knowing that they're in our backyard and that they're here to take care of us," said Noah's mom.

On this day, Noah gives Dr. Gates a floss lesson.

Dr. Gates will stick to medicine, and Noah moves on to the business of being a kid.
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