If you want to strike up a conversation with Xavier, just ask him about trains. This friendly nine-year-old will be happy to tell you everything you ever wanted to know, from the different types of engines to the history of locomotion. (It should come as no surprise that he wants to be a conductor someday.)
Xavier also loves wrestling with his cousins, watching The Discovery Channel, practicing taekwondo, and hanging out with his Chemo Pal, Ron. The two got paired up a year ago when Xavier was going through some tough chemotherapy to treat his lupus; they’ve been fast friends ever since.
“They have an incredible bond,” said Xavier’s mom Rebecca. “They go to barbecues together, Ron helps him with his homework – Xavier feels very blessed to have him in his life.”
Although Xavier’s disease will require him to take lots of medication for the rest of his life, he takes it all in stride. In fact, this compassionate kid even says he’s glad it was him and not some other child. “I’m pretty strong, so I can take it,” he explained. “I just choose to focus on the good stuff.”
Xavier was recently named a CCA Hero and was honored at ceremony in May alongside his family and friends.
Xavier is one of the 250 Pacific Northwest children and teens CCA’s Chemo Pal® Mentor Program has brought the joy of friendship in the past year. Trained Chemo Pal mentors have devoted 5,800 hours forging and strengthening friendships and family bonds, bringing diversion, fun, and activities to kids during their treatment. Chemo Pal mentors also give parents a much-needed break to grab a cup of coffee, talk with doctors, or spend time with their other children.
In 2013, Oregon Mentors awarded CCA’s Chemo Pal Mentor Program with their most prestigious award for mentoring excellence, recognizing the program for exceeding standards of excellence and quality.
With your support, we can match even more seriously ill children and teens with compassionate adults who offer supportive relationships throughout treatments.