Meet our young warriors

Meet Dimitri – Leukemia Warrior

"I have been very thankful for all the help that The National Children's Cancer Society has given", said Mary (Dimitri's mom). "We are very grateful."

Dimitri was only six years old when he complained of leg pain so severe his mom, Mary, took him to the emergency room. Doctors thought it was simply growing pains but wanted an MRI to confirm. Unfortunately, their insurance company would not cover the cost so Dimitri went without.

Less than a month later, on the day before his birthday, Dimitri was back in the emergency room – this time with a swollen eye. Doctors ran more tests but still could not find anything conclusive so they ordered antibiotics and told Mary not to worry. Two days later, the swelling returned. Frustrated Mary demanded more tests. When the tests finally came back, Mary heard the words no parent should have to hear – her son had leukemia.

Wary about the diagnosis, she took Dimitri for a second opinion. In addition to the MRI and blood tests, an ultrasound found tumors on his kidneys and liver along with cancer in the bone marrow of his legs. There was no doubt that Dimitri had cancer.

In fewer than 24 hours, Dimitri went from a normal young boy to a warrior fighting for his life. He was immediately admitted to the hospital where he stayed for a month. Following his initial in-patient stay, Dimitri and his mom travelled twice a week to appointments in Boston, two hours away from their home – each way. When Mary had to dramatically reduce her work hours to care for her son, this single mother of three needed immediate help. That’s when their hospital social worker reached out to the NCCS. The organization was able to provide Mary assistance with travel expenses so Dimitri was able to make it to every appointment. The organization’s Emergency Assistance Fund also provided support when she needed it most. “I have been very thankful for all the help that The National Children’s Cancer Society has given”, said Mary. “We are very grateful.”