Dancing and Singing in the Hospital
Cairo was diagnosed with cancer at 4 months old, right in the middle of the pandemic. His parents had noticed a bump on his stomach and his rib cage began protruding. Their pediatrician dismissed their concerns, but they sought a second opinion. As soon as that doctor lifted Cairo’s shirt, he knew something was wrong and sent them for further tests. Imaging found masses in his stomach, and Cairo and his mom were sent to NY Presbyterian for 10 days of testing (his dad was not allowed to join them because of Covid). During an x-ray, Cairo’s mom Nataly watched the technician’s face drop. They found multiple lesions on both his kidneys—precancerous tumors that would have been terrible if they hadn’t found it in time.
Cairo endured 13 rounds of chemo. Despite losing his hair and facing countless painful needle sticks, Cairo never cried, dancing and singing Blue’s Clues songs in the hospital. But his mom struggled, being alone at the hospital from morning to night, worrying about her son. Cairo’s family also struggled financially. Mom lost her job during the pandemic and surviving on one salary was difficult.
Because of your support, ECF was able to help the family pay their rent and provided gift cards and deliveries of groceries. “ECF gave us so much more than that,” Nataly said. “There were Christmas and birthday gifts and help with the transition to real life after so much time in the hospital.”
Cairo is now two and a half years old and finished with treatment. He didn’t even flinch when the doctors removed his chemo port. Cairo loves music, dancing and for his parents to read him Pete the Cat books. He knows his ABCs, his numbers to 20, and all the basic colors and shapes. Though the lesions on his lungs are still there, the chemo stopped their growth. His kidneys are working fine, so the doctors are just monitoring him closely. His mom has anxiety for the whole month leading up to his regular scans. But Cairo looks forward to seeing the doctors and nurses. ‘When he goes to the hospital now, he isn’t scared,” said Nataly.