As our organization is able to start helping families we will list the faces and stories of children battling high risk pediatric cancer that Laney’s Legacy of Hope has assisted during their treatment. Keep checking back for updates!
Click the tabs below to view the stories of our fighters.
- Reynaldo Flores
- Angelina Miele
- Miguel Rodrigues
- Mason Kosmoski
- Brayden Zackon
- Ariel Rodriguez
- Isabella Conroy
- Virginia Rose Vandermark
- Camryn Cruz
- Kyanna Harris
- Asiana Rembert
- Laynee Costello
- Joseph R Twardzik
Diagnosis: Choroid Complex Carcinoma (Brain Tumor)
Date of Diagnosis: 3/24/14
Where to start.. It started with my son Rey as we call him, with headaches and nausea, throwing up every morning took him to hospitals to his Primary care Doctors and nothing the one thing that worried me he had vision problems started with double vision and then black outs his eye doctor spend a whole hour and recommended an MRI January 21,2013 expected everything to be ok but the worst news ever he had a Brain tumor stage 3 admitted right away and January 24 2013 surgery took place and my lil boy fought for his life and made it ! Chemotherapy was giving for three months followed by MRIs every 3months and a year hadn’t past since his last Chemotherapy when on April 11 2014 we got another bad news he has not one but two tumors that came back so he is in active treatments, stem cells removed to give back after his last chemotherapy is giving!!!! He is a fighter and wont give up yes he is scared everyday that goes by but we have faith in god he will make through it! He is currently home school and he is doing great he is in 7th grade in Lebanon Middle School and miss all his friends and the things he enjoyed before, he also haves a little chihuahua name Mico. All we can do is have FAITH and make the best of the situation!! Thank you, Emma S Flores
Age: 12 Passed away
(April 22nd 2004-July 30th 2015)
Diagnosis: Synovial Sarcoma
Date of Diagnosis: 4/16/2014
Angelina was your typical happy healthy little girl with a smile that could light up the darkest of nights. Angelina celebrated her 10th birthday on April 22nd. On April 23rd she was admitted to CHOP and diagnosed with Synoval Sarcoma, a rare and aggressive form of soft tissue cancer. She had a tumor in her intestines that was determined inoperable due to its size and her only option was to start chemotherapy treatments in hopes to shrink the tumor. She immediately began chemotherapy on the 23rd of April, one day after her 10th birthday. After 7 rounds of chemo it was determined that she would need radiation and proton therapy which she received 25 rounds combined.
The last year hasn’t been easy for Angelina or her family but as of December 2014 we are happy to report her recent scans show she is CANCER free! Her journey doesn’t end there though she will be going every 3 months for scans to ensure no new growth but we are so happy Angelina has the chance to live a “normal” life the way kids her age should live.
Diagnosis: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
Date of Diagnosis: 2/19/2014
Miguel was diagnosed with high risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia on Feb. 19th, 2014. Miguel has spent the past ten months in and out of the hospital. Miguel currently is receiving IV chemotherapy in the outpatient clinic at Hershey Medical Center on a weekly basis. He is also receiving oral chemotherapy at home. Miguel is expected to remain in treatment for another two years. Miguel has had several unexpected admissions to the hospital for side effects of chemotherapy including fever and mouth sores.
Age: 14 (7/19/99-5/20/14)
Diagnosis: ATRT Bladder Cancer
Date Diagnosed: 8/21/13
Mason was your typical boys, boy with a love for baseball, and a fellow Berks County resident. His life was forever changed when he was diagnosed in 2010 with a benign brain tumor, in 2013 he was diagnosed with dermoid cyst on the floor of his mouth, and then diagnosed in Aug 2013 with ATRT Bladder Cancer, after various treatments, Mason relapsed with cancer in multiple areas and succumbed to the disease in May 2014.
Mason had a heart of gold; he stayed strong and positive throughout his journey. Mason was the first fighter we helped and will forever hold a special place at Laney’s Legacy of Hope.
Because of angels like Mason we will never stop fighting!
Diagnosis: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
Date of Diagnosis: 5/21/14
Brayden went for a CBC related to a rash that he had developed in February 2014. The rash was known as HSP, which has no connection to Leukemia. The Doctor ordered two follow-up blood tests. The night of May 20th, I took Brayden for his blood work, which I wanted to get done before we left for the beach on the 22nd. That night I couldn’t sleep. I was up all night googling “rash, anemia, fever, and high white blood count”. All signs pointed in one direction- Leukemia. The next day I called the Doctors office as soon as they opened. I told them my concern and that I wanted the results as soon as possible. The Doctor ended up calling me an hour later, I again told him my concern and that is when he told me this blood work contained some “red flags”. We were sent to Reading Hospital for STAT blood work – testing for Leukemia. My husband left work to meet my sister and I there. I was trying to stay as strong as possible for my son, but in reality I wanted to break down into a million pieces. How can this be real? We weren’t even home yet and we got a phone call from Reading Pediatrics, asking where we wanted to be admitted. My husband and I headed to CHOP. I had a million things running through my head. What is going on? How can this be happening? My son is only 3 years old… We sat in a cold dark room for hours with nurses, doctors, hematologists and oncologists coming in and out. That was where they confirmed my worst nightmare. I am 8 months pregnant and my son has cancer.
Brayden was admitted for almost three weeks until we were released. We spend a lot of time driving on the road to and from clinic for treatments. Brayden is considered high-risk because of the amount of Leukemic cells that were still in his bone marrow after his first phase of chemo. Today he started his 5th phase. He has an enormous cheerleading section routing him on including his best friend- his 7 month old brother. I have stopped working to fight this battle with my son every step of the way.
Date of Diagnosis: 5/8/14
Ariel was diagnosed with a rare childhood cancer called Neuroblastoma and started chemotherapy on Thursday May 22nd 2014, she has a long list of treatments ahead but she is keeping her head up and living life and enjoying her time being a kid while at home between treatments.
Diagnosis: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
Date of Diagnosis: 8/30/13
Isabella’s first year was the worst, she got so sick so many times and spent months in the hospital. She has overcome a lot in this past year. From getting a NG tube because she refused to take her medicine, due to having the worst mouth sores from chemo. Also using the NG tube to have her gain some weight. Now Bella has no feeding tube, takes her medicine by mouth, and is gaining weight on her own. She still has a year or so to go with treatments. We hope she doesn’t fall really sick again.
Age: 4 Passed away
(February 1st 2011- December 29 2015)
Diagnosis: High Risk AML with Monosomy 7
Date of Diagnosis: 4/9/15
On April 7th, 2015, Virginia Rose was taken to the Dr. for a rash that developed during Spring Break. Thinking we would get an ointment, or referral to a dermatologist, we were blindsided when they sent us to the ER. That night we were told that it looked like cancer. Our hearts sank. Our little girl, full of life and enjoying Easter just two days ago, was now in a battle for her life. On April 9th it was confirmed that she has AML and on the 13th she was classified as High Risk due to mutated chromosome 7 (monosomy 7). She started and finished a ten day induction chemo and will be tested on the 23rd to see how successful that treatment was. She has not left the hospital since the 7th. The first round of Chemo did take out some cancer, but not what we were hoping for. She has developed pneumonia and a partially collapsed left lung. They will go back in for another biopsy on May 8th and then start the second round of Chemo. She had two CT scans as they monitor her lungs. She is staying in the hospital while her body tries to recover from chemo and fight this infection. Her blasts are down from 51% to 46% after induction 1 and has started induction 2 on May 8th. Our two boys, RJ (5) and Samuel (2) have been very strong. Praise God Samuel is a 100% match for Virginia, so if a marrow transplant is needed, he is all set. Please be in prayer for us all. This has taken us all by surprise and are heads are still spinning.
Virginia has been currently transferred to St. Jude’s for intensive treatment.
Age: 8 (Passed away May30th 2006-May5th 2016
Diagnosis: relapsed metastatic alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma (aRMS)
Date of Diagnosis: 6/13/13
Camryn Cruz is an eight year old boy that was diagnosed in 2013 with Alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma on his birthday. His treatment has changed several times in the hopes of staying ahead of his cancer. Camryn lives with his family in Pottstown, PA. He loves video games, going out to eat, and going to school when he is feeling well. Camryn is bright, personable, and creative. He continues to fight his cancer everyday with the support and love of his family, friends, and school.
Age: 4(passed away
February 10 2011-June 18th 2016)
Date of Diagnosis: 5/28/2014
Kyanna is an adorable 4 year old little girl who was diagnosed with High Risk Neuroblastoma on May 28, 2014. The intended treatment plan was for Kyanna to undergo chemotherapy, surgery, MIBG treatment, radiation and immunotherapy in an effort for cure. Unfortunately, it was determined that Kyanna has Refractory disease and had to be removed from standard protocol treatment. She then began a trial medication in the hopes of a response and to shift the treatment from cure to chronic management of the illness. After several months on this therapy, Kyanna then progressed again. Kyanna has recently been placed on a trial medication combined with a different chemotherapy regiment, which is early on in its study and administration to patients. It has been offered in the hopes of proving to benefit this little girl.
Age: 12 (passed away August 21st 2003-August 23rd 2016
Diagnosis: Glioblastoma Multiforme
Date of Diagnosis: 6/19/13
After multiply failed attempts for a cure, we are sad to say Asiana is currently on Hospice care.
Diagnosis: Recurrent Rhabdomyosarcoma
Date of Diagnosis: 1/3/13
Laynee’s fight began back in December of 2012 when she began having clots appear in her diaper. Concerned her parents took her to the local emergency room that dismissed their claims and sent them home. Shortly after Laynee’s vagina began prolapsing and she was rushed to the ED once again, but this time a pediatric ED who was able to quickly diagnose what they believed was rhabdomysarcoma. Further testing confirmed their suspicions and a large tumor was found in her vagina. Shortly thereafter Laynee began chemotherapy post Broviac placement. Laynee fought long and hard while her three older sisters stood by her. Her central line became her “tubey” and being bald “was beautiful”. Watching her family stand by her and shave their heads was one of the most powerful things to watch. Her spirit was never relenting. Laynee endured intense chemotherapy until November 2013 when the best line a parent could ever hear was uttered… “No evidence of disease”. The life threatening battle was over for now. The chemo caused extensive tooth decay and physical delays, but hey we were out of the woods. Laynee worked tirelessly with PT and OT at both St. Christopher’s and the local school district to “just be a regular kid again”. We enjoyed nearly two years of clean scans and that oh so joyous phrase “no evidence of disease”, until two weeks ago. Laynee went in for her routine scans when “no evidence of disease” was off the table. How could this happen when rhabdomyosarcoma? This was not the plan. What else could we do besides wait on the biopsy of both the original tumor site and her bladder (where the new tumor was found). After days of agonizing wait we got the news we were hoping not to hear, both sites are positive for rhabdomyosarcoma. Laynee will not only be undergoing intense multi-drug chemotherapy, but radiation as well. This friday Laynee has her PET scan and next week bilateral bone marrow biopsies to see if her cancer has metastasized. After that her port will be placed on Wednesday during the bone marrow aspiration and chemotherapy will be started immediately after. Best case scenario Laynee will just have local spread and hopefully the chemo and radiation will be enough (we were warned that her ovaries would have to be frozen to preserve fertility and her bladder will most likely be destroyed, leading the nephrectomy tubes). This next line is the most difficult line to write; if her cancer has metastasized there is nothing more we can do but attempt to prolong Laynee’s life since it will have become terminal.
Joseph R Twardzik
Diagnosis: Brain Tumor – non-germinomatous germ cell tumor of the suprasellar and pineal
Date of Diagnosis: 5/26/15