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Barbara’s Friends Stories – Emma Lockhart

Breaking your arm is practically a rite of passage during childhood. So, when seven-year-old Emma Lockhart ran to her parents complaining of severe pain, they assumed she’d fractured a bone and acted accordingly. After a quick visit to her doctor, the family received crushing news of another kind: Emma had acute lymphocytic leukemia, or ALL. This rapidly advancing cancer forms in the spongy tissue of the bone marrow, where blood cells are made. Instead of creating mature cells, the [...].

Barbara’s Friends Stories – Christian Nieto

While most schoolchildren spend their free time daydreaming about recess, running between classes or chatting by their lockers, Christian Nieto has spent most of his childhood fighting to make it through another day. Christian has been battling familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) since the tender age of three. According to the National Institutes of Health, FAP is a rare condition in which precancerous tumors, or adenomas, develop in the intestines. A hereditary condition, patients who do not undergo treatments have [...].

Barbara’s Friends Stories – Gabriel Bateham

When Gabriel Bateham became alarmingly unwell at the tender age of three, his family took him to HealthPark Medical Center in Fort Myers. “His pediatrician did not like how he was breathing and had a fever, but there was no Golisano Children’s Hospital at that time,” recalled Gabriel’s mother, Laxmi. “His first two weeks were at the hospital,” she continued. “They thought he had pneumonia, so they treated him with a steroid, decadron. Decadron is used as chemo for [...].

Barbara’s Friends Stories – Juan Carlos Frenes-Lopez

Juan Carlos Frenes-Lopez is a real hero. Diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) just two weeks after his third birthday, Juan Carlos and his family have been through a tough, three-year battle with childhood cancer at Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida. Located in Fort Myers, Golisano Children’s Hospital is the only facility of its kind between Miami and Tampa for pediatric services and oncology. That’s where Luli Lopez, the mother of Juan Carlos, took her son for his [...].

Barbara’s Friends Stories – Cali Trepkowski

On August 14, 2015, Dave Trepkowski’s world turned upside down when he heard the words no father should ever have to hear: Your daughter, Cali, has brain cancer. Six devastating words, and the fight to save his beautiful eight-year-old’s life began. Fortunately for Cali, the recovery rate at Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida surpasses the national average. Located in the heart of Fort Myers, the hospital is on a mission to deliver vital and lifesaving care for children [...].

Barbara’s Friends Stories – Ashton Hoiles

“I never imagined our lives would change so quickly in just a few days.” One morning in April 2013, Meredith Hoiles’ 3-year-old son, Ashton, woke up crying with severe neck pain. Tylenol proved to be a temporary fix as Ashton’s health started to rapidly deteriorate over the next week. The once-cheerful boy became listless and pale. When an enlarged lymph node developed in his neck, Meredith assumed the worst. “My husband and I knew something was very wrong. After [...].

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