“When he was jumping around and fell from a chair, a hardened dot formed on his foot, and we thought it was just a result of him falling,” she says. “But the tiny bump continued to grow, and we couldn’t ignore it.”
At first doctors told her it was a cyst and there was nothing to worry about. However, it didn’t go away and after a few months, Diane requested more action to be taken. An MRI and biopsy revealed that Adrian had a very rare form of soft tissue sarcoma. Just six years old, Adrian was now in the fight of his life against childhood cancer.
“It came as a shock – how could this be? It was so hard because everything moved so quickly. He had two surgeries in one week and then started chemotherapy immediately. My husband and I went through the motions of feeling sad, angry, scared and it really was all overwhelming.”
Adrian’s left pinky toe was removed to try to stop the spread of the cancer, and a port was inserted to receive chemo. Unfortunately, the cancer spread quickly from Adrian’s foot into his lymph nodes and bone marrow. For months, the chemotherapy he was receiving was not responding, and cancer cells were found in his spine. Adrian is now on a higher dose of chemotherapy three days in a row, which is very hard on his tiny, fragile body.
His mom says that although the cancer is strong, he’s stronger. “He is resilient, and so brave.”
When Adrian’s teacher referred him as a recipient for 26 Shirts, Diane says both her and her husband felt instantly supported and like they weren’t in this fight alone.
“Especially in Buffalo, you don’t have to know people and they still send their love, positivity and strength. Every person in Buffalo always goes above and beyond. The community is there to support you – you feel the love and support from afar.”
Adrian Gomez’s 26 Shirt campaign launched 5/17 and runs through 5/30. This story provided in partnership with Hope Rises at www.hoperisesnews.com