Please remember our efforts to raise money to fight childhood cancer will continue. Online sponsorships for walkers and donations are still being accepted and welcomed. We thank you very much for your support... and see you next year at the 23rd Annual Walkathon!
The eradication of this devastating disease depends on the generosity of people like you.
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Hi, my name is Soleidy Estevez. When I was 7 years old, I was with my family on vacation in the Caribbean. My knee suddenly became swollen. Since we were so far from home, my parents gave me over the counter medicine as a pain reliever. The severe pain in my leg did not improve, so they took me to a local doctor who announced that I had cancer. He said that that in order to save my life he would have to amputate my leg.
Fortunately, my parents did not accept this horrific diagnosis. Instead, we immediately got on a plane and flew home to Queens where I was admitted into Jamaica Hospital.
Fortunately, at Jamaica Hospital, I was referred to a specialist at NYU Medical Center. At NYU, I was finally officially diagnosed with Osteogenic Sarcoma.
At NYU, this team of wonderful physicians came up with a medical plan which did not involve me losing my leg. Instead, we were told that my femur (the biggest bone in the body) had to be removed, NOT my entire leg, so that the cancer would not spread.
An Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Samuel Kenan, came to my rescue with a custom-made newly invented expandable rod to surgically insert into my leg. I was one of the first patients to receive this device. Since my parents could not afford my surgery and the prosthesis, the medical team at NYU donated their services and the device. I am grateful to report that I was able to walk within 3 days after the prosthesis was placed inside my leg. And, I was able to ride my bike and roller blade in no time.
Unfortunately, my battle with cancer did not end at that time. At age 12, I was back in school but was frequently receiving checkups to monitor my condition. My doctors discovered tumors in my lungs, which had to be removed. I was in and out of NYU for 3 years receiving chemotherapy and lost all my hair.
Since I had such awful memories from the first time, I was scared. But with the tremendous support from my family and doctors I did not have a choice; I was not going to give up.
Today, I have been in remission for 11 years. I graduated from Dominican College in May 2015, where I majored in education. I am currently a Pre-K teacher at P.S 196 in the Bronx, which hosts annual fundraisers for PCF.
I hope that everyone continues to support Pediatric Cancer Foundation’s lifesaving work by joining me at our 22nd Annual Walkathon April 17, 2016. The Walkathon is a wonderful day celebrating children who have fought this challenging battle and won and also to remember and honor the angels who have lost their fight, but who will never be forgotten.
I have been living a happy and healthy life ever since my recovery and live by the quote “I had cancer, cancer did not have me”.