Elias Gamez #EliasStrong

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In December 2015,  Elias, who is 14 years old and known as an active, vibrant and charismatic child experienced significant change in his demeanor. His drive for an active life and passion for sports began to decline. Over time he underwent a change in his physical and mental well being; his growth regressed and the activities that he usually enjoyed became less appealing.The first signs of illness appeared to be flu like symptoms; fever, cough, common body aches and irritations. These symptoms correlate with asthma, a condition Elias has had since he was a child. On that account, his Doctor prescribed him asthma medication. Later, he began vomiting and underwent rapid weight loss. Additionally, this affected his emotional state and caused minor depression. The Doctors thought it could be something personal affecting him at school and they initiated counseling services. He also has all around itchy skin, which is associated to eczema, another condition Elias has had since birth, and led the Doctor's to prescribe eczema cream. Eventually, the scratching of the itchy skin developed into severe skin lesions and major discomfort. During this time his energy levels have decreased, he has major fatigue and is sleeping long hours during the day. As the symptoms remained consistent and gradually progressing throughout several months of Doctor's visits it became difficult to physically see the drastic decline in Elias's overall health without given an answer as to what is wrong with him, why is he going through this and what can be done to cure him?? There was no solution or diagnosis of his disheartening condition during 10 months. Until, October 13, 2016, Elias showed his mom a lump in his armpit. He was immediately admitted to the hospital where he underwent a series of tests, by several specialist, over a two week period that seemed to never end. Pain, fevers, sleepless nights, daily blood draws, CT scans, MRIs and lastly surgery, resulted in the removal of 12 lymph nodes the size of a golf ball and a piece of tissue from his lungs to perform biopsies.  On October 27, 2016, Elias was diagnosed with stage IV Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Hodgkin's has spread in his chest, lungs, stomach, spleen and kidneys. 

The first treatment of chemotherapy was scheduled on November 3, 2016, for 3 consecutive days, for up to 5 hours per day. During his first treatment he received 6 medications of which 5 of them he took well and 1 of them caused him to have a seizure. Seizures are not a common reaction to chemotherapy, it's very rare, only 1% may have that type of reaction. New sets of testing are taking place to determine the cause of the seizure, if it was the medication or if something else is affecting him.Aside of the scheduled treatment; daily medication and weekly clinic visits, Elias now has to take anti-seizure medication daily, all of which requires 24-hour attention and care.Due to the urgency of care that Elias requires, his Mother Jacqui, who  has been by his side day and night attentively caring to his every need has been unable to work and it is undetermined when she'll be able to return to work.  She has been staying with him at the hospital for 3 weeks, she has had many sleepless nights as she is monitoring his fevers that occur at night time, and during the day she's actively communicating with the several doctor's who are attending to him.Jacqui has 2 daughters, ages 5 and 3, who attend daycare and require special diets due to several food allergies. The costs of daycare and food alone are very expensive, not to mention cost of rent, transportation and living expenses. This medical circumstance has caused financial hardship for Jacqui, making it impossible for a single income to support their financial responsibilities and family needs.

The family of Elias kindly asks for any monetary contributions to provide financial support during this difficult time and recovery of Elias. No contribution is too small or too large in this moment of need. Any contribution is welcomed and greatly appreciated. We kindly thank you for your support towards our family. May God bless you.

Message from Jacqui:
I ask you all to stay strong with us. I ask that you continue to pray and remind the devil that he is not winning this war. I thank you all for the love and support throughout this hard time. Elias is strong... he will overcome this and he will make a full recovery.

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