Rising from the Ashes
The phoenix is a mythological bird that rises from the ashes, symbolizing the ability to overcome darkness and rise to any challenge. It’s a fitting name for our January Hero, 12-year-old Phoenix, who has risen above his circumstances with incredible strength and courage.
From a young age, Phoenix was always active. But as he got older, he started to feel winded when running at school and began to appear jaundiced. As injuries became frequent, the once adventurous boy became quiet and withdrawn.
After a doctor’s visit, blood tests revealed hemoglobin levels that were so low, doctors delivered the devastating news: Phoenix had acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL).
For a kid who was just starting a new school year, suddenly being thrust into a world of hospitals and treatments was traumatic and isolating. The severe side effects of chemotherapy only added to his challenges. As Phoenix’s mood began to plummet, his parents Richard and Rebecca were desperate to find something—or someone—that could lift his spirits.
A Bright Spot in the Darkness
That someone turned out to be Brenton, a Chemo Pal® mentor. Offering friendship, understanding, and a shoulder to lean on, Brenton was exactly what Phoenix needed. According to Phoenix’s dad, Richard, the change was almost immediate.
“Phoenix had completely shut down and was carrying a lot of trauma, to see him smile again—it was everything,” he said.
Keeping the Joy Coming
The Chemo Pal Mentor Program was the family’s first introduction to CCA, which also supported the family through other Joy-based programs like MyMusicRx®, Link, and the Alexandra Ellis Caring Cabin®.
“We felt so ungrounded until CCA stepped in,” shared Richard. “But then we watched Phoenix find a friend in his Chemo Pal mentor, Brenton, and find peace through playing and learning the ukulele with his MyMusicRx Specialist. CCA even provided home repair and yard work when we were in no place to think about either. And when we needed a respite from it all, the Caring Cabin helped us find connection, adventure, and laughter.”
A True Hero
Like the heroes of legend, Phoenix has overcome unimaginable challenges and conquered his fears, making him a hero to everyone who knows this energetic and determined young man.
“Throughout it all, he has never lost his loving nature,” said Rebecca. “He sees what’s ahead and just puts one foot in front of the other, even though it’s scary sometimes.”
In doing so, his father says Phoenix has served as an inspiration to them all.
“He has led us on an amazing, joy-filled journey, and taught us powerful lessons of faith, family, and community.”
You can provide Joy right now for kids like Phoenix who need more than medicine to fight serious illness.. Thank you!