Meet Jacinto! This beautiful little boy has been battling cancer since he was 2 months old. His story will bring tears to your eyes, but his smile will warm your heart. Meet our amazing kid of the weekend, Jacinto!
“On December 7th my son had turned 2 months old and he was very sick and puking everywhere. His eyes started down shadowing as well. That is the day that changed our whole world. I took Jacinto to Albany Medical Center. They couldn’t figure out what was wrong at first. Then they did an MRI and told me he had a brain tumor. It didn’t hit at all. They told me they had to admit him and they had to take him down for an emergency surgery. As we were walking down and I was getting ready to put him on the bed it hit me and I couldn’t help but cry. I didn’t understand. What do they mean he has a tumor? Is it cancerous or isn’t it? I had a lot of questions in my mind. They took him in and placed an EVD to relieve some of the pressure. The doctor told me we had just made it in time. About a week later he had a biopsy done and 2 days later it came back that he had atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor. Stacey Porter was with me that day and I asked her what will happen. She told me it was cancer and she doesn’t know, but they are willing to try to cure him. Hearing all of this was very hard. Why does my baby have cancer? He doesn’t deserve this. Why him? He’s so innocent. A few days later they had made a plan to start chemotherapy. This meant he would be in the hospital for Christmas. They took him to surgery on December 15 to have a shunt placed and then sent him over to general pediatrics a few days later for chemotherapy. Chemotherapy was hard. Being a parent and seeing your child suffer and not being able to do anything about it is hard. He had 2 rounds of high dose chemotherapy which shrank his tumor. From there we were sent for his stem cell collecting in Delaware for a week. We also had an initial visit at Montefoire Children’s Hospital because that is where he would have his stem cells. From there we came back to Albany Med where he had surgery. The surgery was 10 hours long and boy did it feel like forever. I didn’t know what was going on and I thank god for that surgeon. He was able to get the whole tumor out. A few days later we were told our son was blind and he had lost feeling of his right side. He didn’t move his right side for days. It hurt to hear my son went blind from all this and that he couldn’t move. A few days later we felt like he could see something and he started moving his right side a little. We left and went to Monetefoire Children’s Hospital for stem cells. We were only there a week before hearing our little boy relapsed. We came back to find he had another tumor. They went in again and managed to get 80 percent of the tumor. The next day the doctors pulled us aside and told us that our sons chances of surviving are low and because it came back and just keeps spreading his chances are really low. They gave us an option to try more chemotherapy or to just let the cancer take its course. I was crying. I looked at how he was so happy and decided we wanted to try more chemotherapy. From there he was out patient for about 2 months and did 2 rounds of chemotherapy. We did an MRI at the end and found out his tumors shrank. There was 2 on each side of his head that were 1cm. We were told he would have to do multiple surgeries to remove them and it may be a lot but we didn’t care. He went to surgery and they removed what they had saw on the MRI and luckily it was a lot of scar tissue. He went back in a second time and did 7 biopsies. All were negative and they removed what they saw on the left side of his brain. They never had to do the right side. After these surgeries, Jacinto got a shunt infection and they had to remove his shunt for 3 weeks. They placed his shunt back in and he was sent to Children’s Hospital in Rochester where he has just finished his first round of stem cells. He did amazing! He still has 2 more to go and I’m praying he does the same as he did this time. He has gone through 20 surgeries all together. He is only 10 months old and to go through all of this is a lot. At this time Jacinto can only lift his head. He can not sit and he can not eat. He can not walk or do anything that he should be able to do at 10 months old. This boy is my hero and he shows me a different part of life. When you look at him all your troubles go away. I am glad this little boy is mine and I am glad he is so strong. It makes all of us stronger.”