When Tony was 9 months old, his parents, Janita and Antonio, noticed he wasn’t putting any weight on his right leg, he was lethargic and had a fever. They took him to the doctor, where Tony had a chest X-ray. “The doctor thought it was a virus,” said Janita, who is a nurse.
That seemed to make sense, until Tony began to cry out in pain whenever someone touched his leg. Tony’s parents took him to the local children’s hospital, where doctors ran bloodwork.
Upon receiving the results of the test, they referred Tony to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital immediately. “They knew it was cancer, but they weren’t sure what kind,” said Janita.
Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food. -- because all they should worry about is helping their child live.
At St. Jude, tests confirmed Tony had a rare, aggressive subtype of acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a type of blood cancer. St. Jude has helped push the childhood cancer survival rate from 20% when we opened to 80% today. Tony’s treatment will include chemotherapy.
“Coming to St. Jude lifted a weight off our shoulders,” Janita said.
Tony’s family is grateful for St. Jude. “Here, I get to be hands-on with Tony’s care,” Janita said. “From the first day, Tony and his doctor clicked, and I knew he was in great hands.”
Because of St. Jude, we have our baby.
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