‘Hope is a little soldier’
Benefit planned for BC child
Imagine being the recipient of a life-threatening disease occurring once in every 29,000 American youth.
Now imagine being age 7 when you get it.
Take that 7-year-old, whose family is part of a massive networking tool like Facebook, and then imagine multiplied prayers going in and out in the thousands over the computer, in the community and throughout the corridors of Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston.
Now let’s put a face in this real-life scenario; that of Flag Football lover and Wii champ, Chastin Jeremiah Oceguera, who lives with his family in Bridge City. He was just recently diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, one day after his birthday. This disease targets the body’s number one killer of infection – white blood cells.
Now with all that taken into perspective, what does hope look like right now in that family?
“Well, I mean, we look at it like we hope for easy treatments and we are putting our faith in God and we know he’s going to cure him. We put all our hope and faith in God,” said Virginia Oceguera, Chastin’s aunt.
For Chastin’s parents, Beto and Regina, hope looks like a little soldier. This is the pet name they gave him, as doctors were continually surprised at this first-grader’s courage throughout each procedure.
Technology and life expectancy are also on this family’s side.
According to the National Cancer Institute, in the 1960s, less than 5 percent survived more than five years. Today, that number has increased to 85 percent. It is one of the most common and one of the most treatable forms of leukemia. Doctors are often able to identify how genes have been altered, and through a two- to three-year series of drug treatments are able to cure ALL in many cases.
This is the route doctors are suggesting the Oceguera family takes.
Chastin has already undergone a spinal tap – a preliminary procedure – and begun chemotherapy treatments at Texas Children’s Hospital.
He returned home on Monday and one of his first wishes was to see his baby sister Cameron, age 6. That and eat, eat and eat.
“All he talked about when he was in the hospital was how he wanted to go home and he wanted to see his baby sister,” Virginia said. “When he got home, he was like a bottomless pit. His appetite wasn’t good in the hospital. He wanted to eat a chicken leg. He wanted to go ride his four-wheeler, but he couldn’t.”
He also spent time typing in thanks for all the prayers coming in through Facebook. Family members say he smiles all the time. That even when he’s mad, he appears to smile. And he’s got a lot to be mad about because this disease has caused him to miss one of his favorite past-times: wrestling with his cousin Ethan.
One of his favorite expressions is “Whaaaaaaaat?” A question one might ask when a kid who is gazing toward his future, is interrupted by a disease like leukemia.
The family faces many more trips to the Houston hospital and Chastin’s father has been given all the time off he needs to make the trips. Even though the family has medical insurance, the time his father will take off is unpaid.
For this reason, family and friends are putting together a benefit and fundraiser to help with travel and some medical expenses.
The event will be from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. April 24 at Winfree Baptist Church, 19525 Texas 62 S. Barbecue plates will be $7 and baked goods will be on-hand. In addition, there will be an auction. Those wishing to provide items for the auction or benefit, may call general coordinator Marisa Owens, (409) 626-2567.
Orange T-shirts will also be sold to show support for Chastin.
Orange is Chastin’s favorite color because of his love for the University of Texas Longhorns, but it is also the official color of the leukemia campaign. To pre-order a shirt before the April 12 deadline, call Virginia Oceguera at (409) 670-2743.
Donors can also give finances at any Capital One bank location by simply providing Chastin Oceguera’s name.