September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Join us today, September 20, 2009 as CURE Childhood Cancer honors CURE Kid Eric Meraz. Join our fight as CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time! Donate to Eric’s Fund.
Eric Meraz’s Story:
The story below is about my hero, my son Eric.
Eric was born on October 7, 2004. He was a perfectly healthy little boy, the only time he got sick was a normal baby runny nose and maybe one ear infection like so many babies get.
We were in Mexico on Christmas Vacation in 2006 he seemed fine on the way there. On December 23, 2006, I woke up to check on Eric around the time he would want a bottle. It seemed weird to me that he had not cried for his bottle. I went over to him and noticed that he was awake, and he was touching his little head. At this time he would have cried or called out for his bottle, but didn’t. I turned the light on to see him. Eric was having a seizure, although I had no idea what was going on at the time. I woke Rick and told him Eric did not seem well. Eric started to throw up but it was only water. Every minute after that was terrifying; Eric’s temperature was dropping. We rushed him to the nearest ER where he was stabilized, and then he finally started to cry. After an hour or so of monitoring him the doctor told us we could take him home that everything was all right.
Terrified of what just happened Rick, and I requested a CT scan or an MRI. After an all day wait, he finally got an MRI. We were told that he had a “mass” in his little head. The doctor advised us to come back to the US as soon as possible to take him to the pediatrician.
On January 2, 2007 we took him to his pediatrician. He asked us if we had gas in our car and to head straight to Children’s Health Care of Atlanta (Scottish Rite). Not knowing what to think at this time, the doctor told us he would be doing surgery on Eric on January 4, 2007. Eric had a five-hour cranial surgery to reveal to our devastation that he had a malignant brain tumor ATRT (one of the most aggressive and fast growing brain tumors). Only 90% of the tumor was taken out. He was then put on steroids, which made him feel hungry all the time; he couldn’t sleep, and had mood swings.
Eric began high dose chemotherapy two weeks after diagnosis at the age of 27 months. During his treatment he endured countless MRI and CT scans, sedations, tests, blood and platelet transfusions, spinal taps, not to mention the trips to the ER and many hospital stays. He lost a lot of weight and eventually had a feeding tube inserted into his abdomen to get his nutrition. I would try to get him to eat during the day, and at night.
Eric relapsed during the second protocol and there was evidence of some cancer cells in his spine. We still remained hopeful, he’s strength gave Rick and I our strength to keep hoping and never give up. He had another surgery where he had a VP shunt put inserted to help with the pressure in his little head. He faced all this with bravery and courage. All together Eric relapsed three times during treatment. During all this Eric looked healthy and was jumping and playing whenever he felt well enough. To our horror the cancer would not go away; it came back again.
The day Eric was going to start his third protocol (at home) he had another seizure. He was taken to the hospital by ambulance to ICU floor. We made sure we had all his favorite toys that he was going to ask for when he woke up.
The Lord had other plans. Eric was in ICU for three days, our sweet little angel had a stroke. We were told that there was nothing else they could do. The cancer had spread.
My sweet little boy gave all he had until the very end. He was still fighting. No parent should ever go through this pain of seeing his or her child suffer with this dreadful, horrible disease. No parent should lose his or her child to cancer. Please help make that happen by donating to CURE. This wonderful cause helps families like ours from the time of diagnosis to doing research for more treatments that may help other children survive. They can’t do it with out your help.
Amanda Meraz, Eric’s Mom
About September & CURE’S Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time:
September is recognized as National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. This September, CURE Childhood Cancer has committed to raising awareness and raising money to help find a cure for childhood cancer in our lifetime and put an end to this terrible disease through a special program CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time!
Please help us in our goal of raising $30,000 in the month of September while honoring special CURE kids each day of the month who have been affected by childhood cancer.
For more information, please click here.
About CURE Childhood Cancer:
Founded in 1975, CURE Childhood Cancer is dedicated to conquering childhood cancer through research, education and support of patients and their families. Since its establishment as a grass-roots organization, CURE has focused its efforts on improving the care, quality of life, and survival rate of children with cancer.
The founders, parents and a dedicated pediatric oncologist, joined forces to support laboratory research that would translate into immediate care for children with cancer.
Since that time, CURE has raised millions of dollars to fund cutting edge research at the Aflac Cancer Center Blood Disorders Service at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory University School of Medicine.
Through innovative programming, CURE also provides support for stricken families, providing them comfort and support during their time of devastating need.
Donate to Eric’s Fund
Visit us online at www.curechildhoodcancer.org for more information.