Pepe is a typical 2-year-old. He’s a happy and bubbly boy who’s always on the move. But in October 2015, when Pepe was just 6 months old, he developed a cough that wouldn’t go away. Worried, Pepe’s mother, Tiffany, decided to take her baby boy to their local emergency room, where doctors diagnosed Pepe with pneumonia.
Just a few weeks later, the cough came back and Pepe soon started having difficulty breathing. The family returned to the hospital, where a CT scan revealed a mass near Pepe’s left lung. Doctors immediately referred the family to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where it was determined that Pepe suffered from a cancerous tumor called neuroblastoma.
At St. Jude, Pepe’s treatment plan included chemotherapy. Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to more than 80% since it opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude is working to drive the overall survival rate for childhood cancer to 90%, and we won’t stop until no child dies from cancer.
Being at St. Jude and learning about the survival rate was reassuring. I knew that my son was in the hands of great doctors and nurses who were going to help him get to where he needs to be.
Pepe responded well to treatment and now returns to St. Jude for regular checkup appointments. He’s a happy boy who loves to play with his older brother and sister. “Even during treatment, Pepe always had a smile on his face,” said Tiffany. “He made us stronger.”
St. Jude patient Pepe with his aunt and grandmother