July 2023 Update
“Caleb’s journey started with what we thought was a stomach virus. He had been vomiting with bad stomach pains and his pediatrician and me both thought it was a stomach virus. After seven days and him becoming extremely dehydrated with dangerous low blood pressure he was rushed to the ER. He had a blockage in his intestines, needing surgery, caused by a tumor which three days later we found out was lymphoma. We were rushed to Chapel Hill. It turned out to be stage three Burkitt Lymphoma. A very aggressive type of cancer. We both had a crash course in cancer and chemo. It was so scary but the teams at Chapel Hill were there to encourage us and keep us positive toward remission. It was a tough journey. Five months of a week at Chapel Hill and if we were lucky, two weeks at home with frequent visits to the hospital near our house. We are two and a half hours from Chapel Hill.
“Caleb stopped going to school because his immune system was compromised from the chemo and we both isolated the entire time. It is just me and Caleb. His dad was lost at sea in 2021. Being a single mother, I was terrified how I would keep my home and my job being gone so long. I was extremely fortunate to have a wonderful boss and really good friends.
“Caleb has always been social with his friends he grew up with and it was hard telling him he couldn’t see them or go anywhere with crowds. He was always so tired and not feeling well. My heart broke for him. There was nothing I wouldn’t have done for him. They told us he could ring the bell at his last chemo treatment that I thought would never come. My family and friends were there to watch him ring the bell and leave Chapel Hill cancer free. No dry tears in my family. What a blessing.
“During my journey I was contacted by Chapel Hill many times trying to help me financially and being a proud person, I turned them down repeatedly. Then finally the social worker at Chapel Hill was firm with me asking me why I was turning down help. The truth is I needed it. I allowed JUST TRYAN IT to help me. What a true blessing that the financial burden was taken off me and Caleb and the help brought tears to my eyes many times. I was able to really focus on my son’s recovery without the stress of bills due and budgeting and working overtime when I was home.
“I plan to give back when I am in a position to, and I will. I really want to help every family that has a child in this situation. I realized through our hospital stays that me and Caleb were blessed because for us it was only five months of chemo. I met many parents who had children receiving treatment for a year or more. My heart broke for them. Chemo, spinal infusions, blood transfusions, and endless medications. It was torture watching my son, I can’t imagine these parents and their pain and worry for so long, not to mention how financially they survived.
“Caleb is in remission and is cancer free as of early July of 2023. He had his port removed on my birthday. Best birthday present a mom can get. No more hospitals. He has had his friends sleep over and even went to a movie. He enjoys video games and coding. He is anxious to get back to school and has applied for a job at Dominos. His spirits are high. I can finally bring him to DMV for his permit that had to be put off. Life is back to normal.
“There are so many families going through what me and Caleb did. I received financial help which was such a tearful, happy blessing for me and Caleb. Thank you JUST TRYAN IT for your help, and to the social worker at Chapel Hill for being so persistent. It’s so hard to accept help and everyone in their life needs help occasionally. It is amazing to have organizations out there who have donations from generous people who want to help and care. Me and Caleb are truly blessed.”
-Caleb’s mom, Victoria
JUST TRYAN IT provided Caleb’s family with an emergency grant to help them with their rent.