Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disorders Inspiring Patient Stories

Read inspiring stories of hope from patients and families treated at Nicklaus Children's Hospital.

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Logan's Inspiring Journey: Breakthrough Pediatric Cancer Treatment

Meet Logan, 8, and his journey battling a relapsed acute myeloid leukemia, which yielded groundbreaking pediatric cancer treatment results. Read this story.

Patient of the Month: Barbie

Barbara (aka Barbie) was living in Venezuela undergoing treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia when her family decided to travel to Nicklaus Children's Hospital for targeted therapy and additional care at the Nicklaus Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Institute. Read this story.

Patient of the Month: Kaylee and Family

A truly remarkable example of not just a brave patient, but three members of the same family overcoming cancer. Read this story.

Zayia's Success Story

Zayia was diagnosed with pre-B acute lymphocytic leukemia when she was 14 years old. With support from Make-A-Wish Southern Florida, Zayia decided to spend her day giving back to other children undergoing cancer treatment at Nicklaus Children's Hospital.  Read this story.

Patient of the Month: Ayan

After noticing Ayan's arm was swelling, his mother Anca took him to the pediatrician for a biopsy. While results were pending, they took a trip to visit family abroad but on the return trip, Ayan experienced pain in both legs and a fever. Immediately after landing, Anca rushed her son to the nearest emergency room where he was then transferred to Nicklaus Children's Hospital. An additional biopsy confirmed Ayan had an alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, an aggressive type of sarcoma. Thankfully, after more than a year of receiving chemotherapy, resection surgery and proton radiation, Ayan is now cancer free! Read this story.

Santiago's Medulloblastoma Journey

Santiago was only in kindergarten when he was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a cancerous tumor of the brain. His mother, Mehble, says their life was turned upside down when he suddenly came down with strong flu-like symptoms, high fevers, vomiting and nausea that would not go away. After 24 hours of hospitalization, they learned it was a brain tumor and needed emergency surgery to remove the mass in his brain. Read this story.

Patient of the Month: Nicole

When Nicole complained of head pain her parents, Roberto and Tamara, took her to an urgent care. After the medicine provided didn't ease her pain she was brought to Nicklaus Children's Hospital. Thankfully, a multidisciplinary team of specialists quickly understood what was at stake, Nicole was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor and immediately began treatment to remove the mass. Read this story.

Patient of the Month: Leo

Shortly after his third birthday, Flavia and Stalin began to notice significant bruising below the knees on their son, Leo. Their worries began growing after they realized that Leo was more tired than usual, presenting signs of difficulty breathing, and struggling to complete everyday activities.

Read this story.

Patient of the Month: Daniel

After Daniel was diagnosed with myeloid leukemia, a type of cancer in which the bone marrow makes a large number of abnormal blood cells, Daniel underwent many rounds of chemotherapy at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.  Eventually requiring a bone marrow transplant, Daniel was matched with a donor who eventually became his pen pal. Fast forward two years later, Daniel and his family were surprised to meet the young man who performed a selfless act to save their young boy. 
  Read this story.

Patient of the Month: Oliver

Oliver began wheezing frequently so his parents, Trisha and Brian took their son to Nicklaus Children's Hospital. While at first his parents assumed COVID-19 related, blood tests confirmed something much more serious, leukemia. Despite his diagnosis, Oliver remains focused and positive even supporting other children' with cancer.  Read this story.

Gianna: Young Sarcoma Patient Shares Her Journey to Inspire Others

In March of 2022, little Gianna began experiencing a sharp pain in her leg that was causing her to limp. Her mother, Kathy, took her to the pediatrician who recommended she have an X-ray to see what was causing the pain. Read this story.

Living With Hemophilia: Kevin's Story

Kevin was only two years old when he was diagnosed with hemophilia, a rare bleeding disorder that prevents the blood from clotting properly. He learned to give himself his medication, which he had to inject every other day. Today, Kevin says he owes his success to his family, his care team, and of course, himself for being his own advocate. Read this story.

Baby Girl Thriving Thanks to Investigational Treatment for Brain Tumors

Bruna was diagnosed with a rapidly growing brain tumor, called a ganglioglioma, when she was only three months old. Her parents worked tirelessly to find the care she needed in Bolivia where they live. Despite many obstacles, they were connected to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami, where a clinical trial for ganglioglioma is underway. Read this story.

Deja's Story

Deja was diagnosed with sickle cell disease at birth due to both parents having the sickle cell trait. Throughout all her life, Deja has been receiving treatment for her condition. She currently visits Nicklaus Children's every few months, where she is admitted for a few days for pain management, and to help prevent further complications. Read this story.

Patient of the Month: Michael C.

Michael C. is a very active athlete whose life changed last year when he was diagnosed with a very rare and aggressive form a leukemia. This month, as we honor Mental Health Awareness Month, we bring you his heart-wrenching and inspirational story.

Read this story.

Nyla's Story

Nyla had a one in four chance of being born with sickle cell disease due to her parent's genetic makeup. At birth, she confirmed to have the disease and began a lifelong journey of treatment. When Nyla was a few years old, her mother Iriamy decided to take her to see the specialists at Nicklaus Children's Hospital. Read this story.

Brianna's Story

Brianna “Brie" Mestrovich was only 9 years old when she was diagnosed with pediatric cancer. The West Palm Beach native was referred to the Nicklaus Children's Palm Beach Gardens Outpatient center for an MRI because she was experiencing recurrent headaches that did not go away after several months. Read this story.

Sebastian's Fight

Sebastian was only 11 years old when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor, hydrocephalus and a teratoma. His mother Martha says she was shocked to learn her otherwise healthy son began experiencing headaches. Read this story.

Patient of the Month: Tyler

When Tyler began to complain about pains in his shin, his dad thought it was a simple soccer injury. After multiple complaints, Tyler’s dad began to take it more serious. Following a series of exams and an osteosarcoma diagnosis in Jamaica, Tyler was referred to Dr. Temple, orthopedic surgeon at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital for limb saving surgery. Read this story.

Patient of the Month: Isabella

At only 7 years old, Isabella began to complain about having back pains. Unable to run and play with her friends, or even walk at times, her mother decided it was time to visit an orthopedist. After several blood tests and an MRI, it was determined that Isabella had leukemia. Read this story.

Patient of the Month: Helia

When Helia was 12 years old, her mother began to notice she was always very thirsty and drinking more water than usual. It got to the point that Helia was losing sleep due to all the weight she gained, so her mother decided to consult with a specialist. Read this story.

Oscar Uses His Experience to Help Others Prevent Pain

Oscar, 20,  was born with Sickle Cell Disease, a condition that affects red blood cells (sickle cell anemia) and blockage of blood flow causing pain. The pain is often so severe; patients suffer painful bouts known as sickle cell crisis and often require hospitalization. Read this story.

Patient of the Month: Mateo

When Mateo was just two years old, his parents were shocked to discover that their toddler developed leukemia. They met with the hematology and oncology specialists at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital and began a treatment protocol that brought Mateo back to health—along with some entertainment from his spirited little sister! Mateo, now 10, is a healthy, typical kid who loves running around with his friends. Read this story.

Daniella Celebrates her Ninth Birthday by Advocating for Children’s Health

On this very same day nine years ago, Daniella Alvarez was diagnosed Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumor (ATRT), a rare and aggressive type of brain cancer. The news came on June 26, 2009, her second birthday. Daniella endured years of brain surgeries, aggressive chemotherapies, radiation, imaging scans, multiple visits to intensive care at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. She is now cancer free thanks to a pediatric clinical trial made possible through research funding. Read this story.

Patient of the Month: Lacy

Meet our July Patient of the Month, Lacy. Lacy was only 2 years old when her parents noticed that something was wrong. They took her to various doctors to try to find what could be the cause, Lacy had an 8 cm. tumor in her brain, occupying most of the lower part of her head. Read this story.

Patient of the Month: Bi'Yanie

At a young age, Bi’Yanie was diagnosed with sickle cell, a blood disorder that causes the cells to take on a crescent or sickle shape and can lead to very painful episodes called crises. Today, Bi’Yanie is getting stronger by the day, thanks to the bone marrow transplant she received at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. Read this story.

Sydnie's Second Chance

While her high school senior peers were trying on prom dresses and applying to college, Sydnie Romero was grappling with a decision that would be tough for anyone, let alone a chronically ill 17-year-old. Sydnie was born with sickle cell disease, a genetic disorder in which bone marrow produces defective hemoglobin that can block blood supply to parts of the body, resulting in “pain crises,” which are episodes of severe pain that can last for hours to days.

Read this story.

Gia’s Road to Remission

Gia was born with Vacterl syndrome when she was just 3 years old after her mother noticed blood in her urine. Soon after, Gia was diagnosed with a tumor in one of her kidneys. Originally from Jamaica, the family moved to South Florida to pursue treatment at Nicklaus Children's Hospital. Read this story.

Patient of the Month: Juan Pablo

When he and his family were still living in Venezuela, Juan Pablo was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma, an aggressive type of cancer. Watch Juan Pablo’s story and help us raise awareness throughout the month of September for Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month. Read this story.

Ruby’s Journey to Cancer Free

Ruby began complaining of what she thought was a tummy ache. After two or three days with no improvement, her father made an appointment with a gastroenterologist at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, who discovered a mass in the child’s abdomen—it was cancer. Read this story.

A Cancer Cure for Kira

Kira, 13, can say “I beat cancer” in four languages: English, Portuguese, Italian and Spanish. The budding linguist and aspiring make-up artist (at least for the moment) is happy to have cancer in the rear view mirror after a 2014 bone marrow transplant that cured her of acute lymphocytic leukemia. Read this story.

Patient of the Month: Raquel

At just 16 years old, Raquel was diagnosed with Pre-B acute lymphoblastic leukemia. She first noticed something was wrong in the summer of 2015 when she realized she had swollen glands behind her ear. Read this story.

Patient of the Month: Izabella

Growing up, Izabella liked any and all sports, from soccer to baseball to whatever she could do outside. Then one day, her dad noticed her limping while she was playing. In an unfortunate twist of fate, Izabella was diagnosed with something that would affect her ability to keep playing sports, osteosarcoma. Read this story.

Patient of the Month: Felix

When he was just a young boy in Nicaragua, Felix’s mom noticed that he often complained about pains and not the usual pains for an active boy his age. After he was taken for blood tests, doctors discovered that Felix had sickle cell disease.

Read this story.

Sabrina's Bone Marrow Transplant Success Story

Thriving after undergoing bone marrow transplant from two donated umbilical cord units, Sabrina celebrates her 15th birthday after sucessfully recovering from the transplant to treat her Leukemia. Read this story.

Patient of the Month: Leslie

Nine months after first being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), Leslie Rodriguez is getting back to being a healthy, happy kid. She's in school and accumulating honors happily.  Read this story.

Patient of the Month: Andres

After being diagnosed with Leukemia in 2012, Andres spent 243 days at Nicklaus Children's Hospital and today he is healthier and happier, thanks to the care he received here. Now, while on the maintenance phase of cancer treatment, he shares with us his survival story. Read this story.

Home to Russia with Love

A surgical team led by Dr. Cathy Burnweit, Chief of Pediatric Surgery at MCH, performed a marathon 19-hour "heated chemotherapy" procedure that has only been used for pediatric patients at a handful of centers within the U.S., saving 12-year-old Daria Rozhkova. Read this story.

Caroline's Success Story

14-year-old Caroline Pallidine found the care she needed to overcome leukemia and the strength to face the world without the once-flowing tresses she lost to chemotherapy. Caroline was hospitalized in the Oncology Unit in July 2011, when a visit from musician Armando “Pitbull” Perez, as part of the national “Get Well Soon Tour,” inspired her to shed the wig she had been wearing when out in public. Read this story.

Natalie's Success Story

Natalie Thompson of Hobie Sound, Florida, was only 2 when doctors at Nicklaus Children's diagnosed her with stage IV neuroblastoma, an aggressive childhood cancer. Little Natalie, now 4, has completed her 120-week treatment and is cancer free. She is enjoying life and making huge strides in regaining ground lost during her prolonged illness. Read this story.

Jessica's Success Story

Jessica was a patient five years ago. She moved to Nicklaus Children's Hospital from Palms West in West Palm Beach because she had a large brain tumor and hydrocephalus. Her parents weren't sure she would make it but today she is a survivor because of Nicklaus Children's Hospital. Read this story.

Andrea's Success Story

In May of 2008, Andrea was diagnosed with a brain tumor in the brain stem. She was admitted to the Nicklaus Children's Hospital, formerly Miami Children's Hospital, for surgery and treatment. Read this story.

Carin's Success Story

Carin was diagnosed with medulloblastoma (a highly malignant primary brain tumor) at age eleven. She was operated on to remove the tumor, and she also had radiation treatments. She is thirty seven years old now and lives and works in Ohio. Read this story.

Karly's Success Story

In December 2008 Karly went to the emergency room for a high fever and cough. The doctors said she had pneumonia, then a CAT scan two days later showed that she had a tumor in her chest the size of a softball that was collapsing her left lung and compressing her spine. The next morning, Karly was taken via Life Flight to the Hospital, where a great oncology team was ready to treat her. Read this story.

David's Success Story

David was ten and a half years old when first diagnosed with glioblastoma, a stage 4 brain cancer, in his right temporal lobe. After going through thirty three radiation treatments and being told he had only three months to live, Dave recovered and is cancer free. Read this story.

Jeffery's Success Story

Little Jeffrey, now 10, was born with sickle cell disease, a genetic disorder in which bone marrow produces defective hemoglobin that can block the blood supply to parts of the body, resulting in painful episodes and potentially debilitating strokes. Jeffrey's family have nothing but wonderful things to say about the doctors and staff at Nicklaus Children's Bone Marrow Transplant Program. Read this story.

Jany's Success Story

At 15, Jany knows not to sweat the small stuff. In the months since she was diagnosed with cancer, the Westwood Christian School sophomore has gained a rare perspective on life.Today, Jany is cancer-free and pursuing her education at home while waiting for her immune system to regain strength. Read this story.

Destiny's Cancer Success Story

Destiny has worked her magic while battling a persistent form of cancer. The journey began when two large tumors – one the size of a fist – were found in Destiny’s brain when the child was just 18 months old. Within a day of the diagnosis, Destiny was in the hands of Nicklaus Children's neurosurgeon Dr. Glenn Morrison, who successfully removed the tumors. Read this story.

Daniella's Story

Daniella dreams of being a pediatric oncology nurse - not a common career ambition for a teenager. But Daniella is not your typical teen. The determined 16-year-old has faced a highly aggressive form of cancer and has been disease-free for three years. Read this story.

Bria's Success Story

Bria was taken to the Cancer Center at Nicklaus Children's Hospital, where her family learned she had an aggressive form of bone cancer, called osteosarcoma, in her left thigh. With the care and compassion Bria and her family received at Nicklaus Children's Hospital, today this energetic third grader is showing the world how to beat the odds. Read this story.