Honesty From an Unlikely Hero
Thomas Jefferson once said, “honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom." Four Diamonds child Chloe knows this firsthand from her older brother, Alex.
Alex knew that his family was struggling with his sister’s cancer diagnosis. Chloe was diagnosed with alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma on August 30, 2022, a soft tissue tumor that is most common in older children and teenagers. Instead of waiting for help to come to them, he took it upon himself to seek out help. Call it bravery, call it honesty or call it nerve, but Alex went to the advisor of the Mini-THON program at Twin Valley High School and talked to him about Chloe and the challenging situation his family was in.
Learning About a Cancer Diagnosis
Chloe was diagnosed with cancer about a month after she fell off a swing. Like many kids, she got up and started playing again. A couple of days later, she complained of leg pain, and that pain continued for another week. Chloe’s mom, Becky, took her to the pediatrician’s office where she was sent for x-rays, and she received a diagnosis of myositis, a condition that can cause muscles to become weak, tired and painful.
The third week after the pain began, Becky took her to another hospital where they confirmed myositis a third time. Becky knew something else was wrong, so they went back to the doctor. This time, Chloe saw her long-time pediatrician and he was concerned when he saw her walking down the hall. During the exam, he felt something in her abdominal area and then recommended that Becky and Chloe go to Penn State Health Children’s Hospital right away. When they arrived, Chloe had an ultrasound, and the family was given the terrible news that she had cancer.
Students Stepping Up For a Four Diamonds Family
When Chloe was diagnosed, her parents were working full-time, spending their days between work and the hospital. It was very difficult to prepare food for the whole family, so Alex reached out to his Mini-THON advisor, Lance, at Twin Valley High School. This group of Mini-THON students, along with their advisor, took it upon themselves to make homemade meals for the family, and then froze them and delivered them to their home. This was so helpful to Chloe’s family, both before and after Becky severely dislocated her shoulder right before Christmas. When Becky mentioned this to Lance, the students took it upon themselves to up the level of meal support they were providing the family. At one point, the students delivered enough meals for an entire month! Chloe’s family has also received incredible support from Four Diamonds. “The mental and emotional support, the financial support, it has all been so amazing,” says Becky. “Four Diamonds even helped with a grant to help pay utility bills.”
Chloe is now on maintenance chemotherapy for six months. All of her cancer continues to shrink, even to the point of being “non-visible” on the scans. Her cancer is not active and not growing. Chloe cannot wait to start being a kid again and started full day kindergarten this year. Becky says Chloe is her own best advocate–at such a young age, she is on top of taking her medicines and caring for her port.
“A big part of honesty…” says author Jeffrey Gitomer,“ is taking pride in who you are as a person and what each action means to your character.” The Twin Valley Mini-THON program took a great deal of pride in providing meals for Chloe and her family. “It was an honor to help them out directly in their time of need,” says Lance, the Twin Valley Mini-THON Advisor. “It has been great getting to know them throughout the process.”
Chloe is thriving–thanks to her expert medical care at Penn State Health Children’s Hospital, the support of Four Diamonds and Twin Valley Mini-THON, and the honesty of Chloe’s brother, Alex.