St. Jude dad Javier treasures the little things he once took for granted

After his daughter’s cancer diagnosis, he cherishes even a walk in the park or a kiss on the cheek.

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  •  1 min

St. Jude patient Valentina and her father, Javier

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At every family event, Javier makes his presence felt.

“Becoming a father after 40 taught me the importance of spending as much time as possible with my daughters. I make it a point to be there for birthdays, school events and holidays,” he said.  

St. Jude patient Valentina and her father, Javier

Javier is the sole male in the household, living with his wife and two daughters: Valentina, age 6, and Naomi, 10. 

Being there for them at every stage is a commitment that fills his soul, even during tough times. 

Two years ago, Valentina was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Javier became her donor for a bone marrow transplant at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®.

“I was overjoyed to play my part,” Javier said. “Valentina means everything to me: She embodies love, gratitude, bravery and immense strength. Despite facing so much uncertainty, her smile never fades… she has taught us a lot,” he added. 

To lift her spirits during treatment, he would play with her and sing “Baby Shark,” her favorite song. 

Now that Valentina is in remission, Javier cherishes every moment by her side. 

St. Jude patient Valentina and her father, Javier

They often sit together to enjoy Valentina’s educational games, filled with lights, colors and sounds. They also love taking walks to the park in their neighborhood. 

“I’ve learned that it’s the little everyday things that make a difference,” he said, his voice breaking with emotion. “Receiving a kiss when I come home or seeing her wave at me with her little hand, nodding her head, is so precious that it has become my driving force to move forward.” 

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