Kevin’s mom first noticed a protrusion on the right side of his abdomen during a summer day at the local swimming pool. After a few visits to the doctor, Kevin was diagnosed with Wilms’ tumor in July of 1982. He was only 20 months old.
He was sent to the Children’s Hospital of Orange County for surgery and began treatment for the first time. This marked the beginning of a new lifestyle filled with chemotherapy and radiation treatments that would dramatically weaken his immune system. Instead of having fun at home, he would spend most of his childhood being in and out of the hospital as he frequently needed antibiotics to fight infections.
In 1985, at just 4 years old, Kevin’s cancer spread to the left side of his skull and his chemotherapy and radiation treatments increased. After having his tumor removed later that year, the cancer returned three times in the same location, leaving Kevin and his family feeling defeated.
Kevin was tired of spending his days in the hospital, away from his family and friends. Instead of growing up in the white-walled room of the hospital, he wanted to be back at home, building Legos and playing outside with friends.
When Make-A-Wish entered his life, Kevin wished to go to the happiest place on Earth. In June of 1986, Kevin and his family were granted a week-long trip to the Walt Disney World® Resort. During his trip, Kevin felt free as he was finally able to enjoy his life as a little kid.
“Make-A-Wish came along and offered me a chance to be a normal kid for a week," Kevin said.
Today, Kevin is 37 years old and is a four-time cancer survivor. He received his Master’s degree in Education in 2014 and now works with children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. He describes his work as having been given the gift to pass on to his students the help, love, care and support that was given to him throughout the years of fighting cancer.
In July of 2017, Kevin married the love of his life. Kevin’s wish gave him strength for the future and strength to survive.