In December 2019, just before the holidays, Wesley was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), a type of blood cancer.
Since then, Wesley has endured chemo, spinal taps, and skin and blood biopsies. He had a bone marrow transplant on his 15th birthday. But he has faced every challenge with strength, courage—and a few good-natured pranks to lighten the mood.
For Wesley, those Joyful moments gave him the strength to cope with his diagnosis. “I knew it wasn’t going to be easy,” he said of those initial days in the hospital. “But I knew I had to do it.”
Twice-weekly Jam Sessions made the Hospital more Fun
Wesley loves music and dreams of working in the music industry as a producer. So when JoyRx Music specialist, Cameron, walked into Wesley’s hospital room with a guitar and plenty of instruments to borrow, it marked the beginning of twice-weekly jam sessions, inside jokes, and a beautiful friendship.
“When I first started treatment, I thought it was going to be just me and my mom sitting in a little room the entire time. But CCA got involved immediately. JoyRx Music was there the very first week, and they made being in the hospital easier and more fun. Me and Cameron became really good friends.” — Wesley
A Mentor Lightens the Mood for Mom and Son
Wesley also found companionship and fun in his JoyRx Mentor, Jason. They bonded over their shared love of wrestling and sports, and have nerf gun fights, build Lego cars, and play football in the room. For Nichole, it was nice to see her son enjoying himself—and Jason’s presence in the hospital allowed her to take time for herself and recharge, so she could continue to be the rock Wesley needed.
“I personally don’t cry in front of my son, I do that outside. Wesley knows that. There would be times where he’d say, “Mom go take a break.” But when Jason visited, I knew Wesley would be okay. I could take time for myself knowing that if something were to happen, Jason would be there to help.” —Nichole, Wesley’s mom
Wesley Goes All-In On Joy
When you’re a kid in the hospital, Joy can be in short supply. But every jam session with Cameron, every football “game” with Jason, every lighthearted prank and smile filled
Wesley’s “Joy tank,” giving him hope and strength during even the toughest days.
And Wesley paid it forward. He shared his Joy with everyone around him, including another young cancer patient on his floor—an adorable one-year-old named Lauren. At first, Lauren couldn’t leave her room, so Wesley would put on puppet shows and play peek-a-boo outside her window. Later, they’d roam the halls together on their matching walkers.
During visits with Wesley, Lauren was full of smiles. “Every single day we’d look forward to Nichole and Wesley visiting us,” said Mallory, Lauren’s mom. “It was the highlight.”
For Wesley, Joy is more than a momentary distraction—guitar lessons with Cameron and hangouts with Jason transformed his treatment experience and gave him the strength and hope needed in his fight against pediatric cancer. You can create more Joy for kids like Wesley by making a donation today. Thank you!