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Eight-year-old Ian Lemus went through a year’s worth of treatment and is getting better, but it isn’t just curing patients like Ian that Children’s specializes in. Hear Ian’s Story of Hope:
Ian’s journey began when his mother, Linda, noticed that Ian wasn’t himself. Countless rounds of lab work, X-rays and antibiotics did little to help. Linda came home one day in February 2011 to find her thin little boy in bed completely swollen from the neck up.
A CT scan finally revealed the culprit—a mass the size of a small bagel in Ian’s chest. Within hours they were at Children’s. Two surgeries later they had a diagnosis: T-Cell Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma.
Linda was simultaneously relieved to have answers and horrified to learn her son had cancer. She never left Ian’s bedside while he was at Children’s. Through spinal taps and surgeries she was there.
The next two weeks were a blur, but Linda remembers compassionate staff members who not only cared for Ian but also for her, providing a gift card for breakfast when she’d forgotten to eat and toiletries so she could take a shower. In the midst of a crisis, little gestures really mattered.
The most meaningful gesture, though, was the care provided to Ian. “Dr. Tamra Slone is just angelic,” Linda said. “She did everything in her power to take the best care of our son. The staff is so incredible. They nurtured and comforted him. By the time Dr. Slone told us we could go home, my son was crying because he didn’t want to leave.”
After 12 months of chemotherapy, 17 injections a week and frequent visits to Children’s, Ian’s cancer is in remission. He’s back to his favorite comic books and video games. And today he’s stronger for what he endured. “Nothing will stop him,” Linda said. “It’s almost like with what he’s been through, everything else is a walk in the park.”
Ian, a second grader, is an honor student who loves reading and playing video games.