When 9-year-old Sebastián grows up, he wants to be a professional soccer player — and he’s off to a good start. In the fall of 2016, Sebastián was given the Iron Man award by his soccer team in recognition of his relentless effort and passion on the field. “It’s always been Sebastián’s dream to play soccer,” said his mother, Belén.
But in 2014, Sebastián’s dream was in jeopardy. Earlier that year, his parents learned he suffered from a rare brain tumor called medulloblastoma. “We were devastated,” said Belén. “Sebastián had always been a sweet, caring child with an adventurous heart. It was difficult to imagine he was so sick.”
Doctors sent the family to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for Sebastian’s continuing treatment and care. At St. Jude, Sebastián’s treatment included chemotherapy, radiation therapy and oral chemotherapy.
Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food — because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. “There are no words to describe St. Jude,” Belén said. “Everything is designed so families only worry about loving their children.”
Throughout treatment, Sebastián never lost sight of his dream. “All he asked me when he was in the hospital was that he wanted to play soccer on a team,” said Belén. “We promised him that we would sign him up when he finished treatment.”
Sebastián finished treatment in 2015 and now returns to St. Jude for regular checkup appointments. And just like they promised during treatment, his parents enrolled him on a soccer team soon after completing treatment. “Every time we watch him play we remember everything that he went through and it’s incredible seeing how much energy he has,” said Belén. “We are thankful for our St. Jude family who helped us through every step of the process.”
“We’re so grateful for everything St. Jude has done for our family."
Belén, Sebastiáns' mother