1. Take fitness to heart
Matt Dela Cruz had his life under control when his world turned topsy-turvy. The young athlete played volleyball, soccer and ran track. He also played forward for Guam’s national basketball team, helping them bring home both gold and bronze medals.
Suddenly, college plans and basketball practices were relegated to the back-burner so that he could begin treatment for acute myeloid leukemia.
To maintain fitness during treatment, Matt works out in the gym at his St. Jude residence, Target House.
“One of the chemotherapy drugs I have taken affects the heart long-term, so I do cardio to strengthen my heart,” Matt says. “I do cardio and then lift weights.”
Matt says he also gains strength from his clinical team and his peers in the St. Jude Teen Room.
“There’s a lot of bad stuff happening in the world,” he says. “You want to know where all the good people are? They’re all here at St. Jude.”
Abridged from Promise, Spring 2015