When Andrew grows up, he wants to be a police officer or a professional gamer. After three and a half years of chemotherapy, Andrew is officially cancer-free and can continue to dream big about his exciting future! At just eight years old, he’s as brave as can be and will also give you a run for your money if you ever challenge him to a game of Super Smash Bros.
Starlight Brings Happiness During Long Hospital Stays
In 2017, Andrew was diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia that is rarely seen in children. It’s called Ph+ALL leukemia. It required him to have 168 weeks of chemotherapy.
That’s a lot of time away from the comfort of his own home, but that didn’t stop Andrew, who according to his mom, Brenda, was “thriving and showing cancer that he’s strong and nothing will stop him."
When Andrew received treatment at Kaiser Permanente in Hollywood, California, he spent days or even weeks at the hospital. Many times, he couldn’t leave his room.
“He was given the opportunity to play with the Starlight Gaming station and it changed his mood completely,” Brenda said. “He was not acting like he was in the hospital. He was acting normal as if he was at home. It really helped him be distracted and have so much fun.” During those long hospital stays, Andrew also found comfort wearing his cozy Starlight Gowns and playing his favorite games on the Starlight Nintendo Gaming station.
Life After Cancer
Andrew is now cancer-free and rang the bell to celebrate! Although Andrew didn’t get to be with his whole family because of Covid-19 restrictions at his hospital, his mom said “it was the most magical day ever."
Now that Andrew has completed treatment, he’s enjoying not having to spend so much time at the hospital, but he still has monthly appointments for the next few years to check in. His treatment also had some long-term effects on his physical health. Andrew has some pain in his legs when he runs or walks for long periods of time, but his family is so grateful that he’s finally able to live a normal life and be a kid again.
So, what’s next for Andrew? His mom says it’s simple: “To live life to the fullest, enjoy every moment, celebrate every milestone, and love life."
Deliver Happiness to Childhood Cancer Survivors
June is National Cancer Survivor Month. Join Starlight in celebrating the courageous and inspirational kids like Andrew who have overcome a cancer diagnosis, and lift up all the kids and families who are just beginning their childhood cancer journey!
Starlight’s programs help kids at every step of their cancer journey, from making sure they have a comfy Starlight gown for their follow up appointments to bringing them their favorite video game while they wait for test results.