During patient vists last month at Moffitt Cancer Center, I had the chance to meet 23 year-old, ALL fighter, Deion. Deion is one of those type of guys who is loved by all. It was so funny to watch the nurses perk up at their desks when they heard he was in the building. Two of the nurses invited me on their hunt to go find Deion, and it took all of about .5 seconds to realize why they favor him. Deion has a very genuine, kind, friendly spirit about him and his cancer diagnosis doesn't seem to phase him. You can rarely find this guy in his room because he has a social life to tend to between all the floors throughout Moffitt. Deion is like the prom king of Moffitt High.
Deion grew up in Woodland Terrace. At 16, he found himself bleeding for three days after being hit in the face during a basketball game. This is when Deion learned that his platelets were below 20 and his bone marrow was positive for ALL, acute lymphoblastic leukemia. He started treatment at Tampa General Hospital three days later, which included weekly infusions and more spinal taps than one human should ever have to endure. One of his biggest treatment concerns was similar to mine, "but I cherish my dreads". Mind you, I don't necessarily have dreads, but we definitely have similar values in this department. All of his ALL treatment ended in 2014 and Deion was in the clear.
Fast-forward to July of 2017. Deion started visiting his dermatologist for questionable skin spots and lesions, but they didn't have an answer for him. He ended up back at his oncologist's office for biopsies and a second ALL diagnosis in January. Deion's doctor's weren't even sure how he was walking at that point considering 90% of his blood was leukemia-ridden. Deion is currently in Moffitt Cancer Center for his 28-day infusion, but living life like he's stayin' at a hotel. He hasn't seen cancer as a setback, but a refinement. Once this round of treatment is over, Deion plans on getting his G.E.D and going to college.
Deion is extra cool because he credits God for bringing him back to his right state of mind, especially when all crap hit the fan. During this cancer mess of his, Deion lost his grandma, endured a year-long sentence in county jail, and was overcoming a problem with drugs, all at once. But he reminded us that...
"Its not a big deal, I have the Lord. Your mind is powerful. As long as you have faith, you'll be okay."
As Deion's STW community, we'll be helping him get the $3,600.00 he needs to continue treatment through a transplant. We're also on the hunt for a tutor to meet with him and help him obtain his G.E.D. Click here to donate or comment below with words for Deion or a tutor suggestion!
PS. Special thank you shout-out to the really great Lacey Block for hanging out with Deion and I!
More on this awesome girl later, but for now, check out her cancer story here!
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