Meet Keegan – Leukemia Warrior
“The financial assistance from NCCS allowed me to be able to take Keegan to and from multiple appointments throughout the week without the added worries of how I would be able to afford it,” says Keisha, his mom.
Twelve-year-old Keegan has a note hanging on his wall that reads, “Kick cancer’s butt!” The handmade note was a gift from one of our Beyond the Cure Ambassador Scholarship recipients. To Keegan, this was so much more than a piece of paper. It was these three empowering words that kept him going when he learned he had cancer.
Keegan had been having foot pain during PE class in school, so his mom, Keisha, took him to the doctor. Upon examination, the doctor thought his mysterious pain could be attributed to growing pains – but Keegan also mentioned that he had been short of breath recently. To err on the side of caution, the doctor requested bloodwork. Within four hours, Keegan and Keisha were at the emergency room being admitted to the ICU. On January 27, 2023 …Keegan was diagnosed with leukemia.
Keisha realized how drastically their lives would change because of her son’s cancer diagnosis. Not only because of Keegan’s health – but also because of logistics. “Amidst the uncertainty of his diagnosis and all of the information we were receiving about what this journey would look like going forward, I quickly realized our world was going to be flipped upside down.”
Keegan and his mom would be alternating between taking two and five trips each week to the nearest children’s hospital. With a 45-mile round-trip route, they’d be putting in some serious miles.
As a single mother with a new full-time job, Keisha was blindsided by the monumental task at hand. She had to resign from her job to take on this new life-changing responsibility. “In order to help Keegan, I needed to be fully present,” she said.
The Financial Burden
While she knew she needed to be with her son every step of the way, she worried about the financial burden of a cancer diagnosis. Keisha was relieved to receive help from the NCCS. “The financial assistance from NCCS allowed me to be able to take Keegan to and from multiple appointments throughout the week without the added worries of how I would be able to afford it.”
Her family benefited from the Emergency Assistance Fund when Keegan had an extended hospital stay, as well as the Transportation Assistance Fund to relieve the cost of travel. The NCCS will continue to support Keegan and his family as he battles cancer, no matter what.
“Learning about NCCS and all that they do to help families has been such a blessing during one of the toughest times of our lives,” said Keisha. She understands the importance of everything the NCCS does, from financial assistance to notecards of encouragement… like the one hanging in Keegan’s room.
“The thoughtfulness, as well as the many other resources NCCS provide to families dealing with a childhood cancer diagnosis, have been invaluable and something we will never forget and we are forever grateful.”
NCCS continues to support Keegan’s family through the Transportation Assistance Fund, which alleviates the financial burden of travel costs associated with cancer treatment. Because no family should go through childhood cancer alone. ™