MADERA COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) — Seven-year-old Maddox is a fun-loving kid who loves Fortnite, Star Wars, and Lego sets.
But in March, his mother noticed that he wasn’t acting like himself.
“He started complaining of pain in his legs. I took him to his doctor. His doctor just said it was growing pains,” she said.
Sarah knew something was wrong.
“A week went by, same thing. I took it back… thought it was normal, sent us home.”
A month later things got worse. Then they found their way to Valley Children’s.
“The doctor came in with the nurse and I saw the nurse stop next to Maddox. He just kind of stared at me and said, ‘What we think he has is neuroblastoma.'” Sarah said.
“Neuroblastoma is one of the most common forms of solid tumors in children. It is usually very aggressive in children over the age of four,” said Dr. Karen Fernandez.
Sarah vividly remembers that diagnosis. “It was the hardest thing to hear. I never thought I would hear that my child has cancer. I just asked him, ‘Am I going to lose him? Is he going to die?”
Circumstances like Maddox’s are extremely complicated. It requires many pediatric specialists working very closely together.
dr. Fernandez says that’s why Valley kids are so crucial.
“Valley Children’s is the major children’s hospital in the Valley. Because we have access to a medical center closer to home and are able to receive adequate treatment within 30 to 60 minutes, it is very important to minimize other complications said Dr. Fernandez.
It was not an easy road for Maddox.
But his mother is so, so proud of him.
“From the very beginning, Maddox has been confident that he will get through this. He’s the one who keeps me going. He’s the one who says, ‘I’m good.’ He’s not impressed with his chemo, like it’s not even happening,” Sarah said.
His doctors have noticed it too.
“He’s a very kind, very happy child. It’s almost as if nothing happened to him.”
Now that Maddox is getting the best possible care, he can focus on two things: getting better and taking out that next Lego set.
You can help the hospital that changes lives. Click here to learn more about the Futures Worth Fighting For Telethon benefiting Valley Children’s Hospital.
Copyright © 2021 KFSN TV. All rights reserved.