What do you think of when hear the word “bravery”? I remember an acquaintance once arguing that bravery always meant daring deeds and tough, valiant acts.
But you know what I think is brave? I think a single mom caring for her kids is brave.
I think a father working a back-breaking job to put food on the table is brave. And I think a 13-year-old boy from Montrose, Michigan, battling cancer for a third time is brave.
According to WNEM, Xavier Escamilla was first diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia in 2014. He suffered from early T-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
It’s a particularly nasty form of the disease, and the numbers surrounding it are grim. Only about one in every 10 patients survive.
“It’s a nightmare,” his mother, Prescilla Escamilla, told WITI. “It’s nothing I ever wanted to hear again in my life.”
The first time Xavier went up against cancer, he beat it soundly and went into remission. But it came back with a vengeance.
He fought it a second time. But according to a GoFundMe campaign set up for his family’s support, he had a nasty health scare in June.
Xavier spiked a fever and developed pneumonia. Then doctors discovered that he’d gone into septic shock.
The worst news was still to come, though. Three days after being admitted to the hospital, medical professionals discovered that the leukemia had returned.
Xavier wasn’t the only one facing health issues. The incredible burden of caring for him while trying to support four other children as a single mother led to a scare for Prescilla.
“They found a blood clot on my brain and three tears in arteries, which was chasing interrupting blood flow to brain,” she said. “I was in ICU.”
Doctors were tailoring treatment to try and battle multiple cancer mutations they discovered in Xavier. In the end, though, it wasn’t enough.
On Dec. 9, Xavier passed away at home, having just left the hospital days before. Prescilla penned a touching tribute to her son on Facebook.
“My loving beautiful, handsome, strong boy Xavier Esteban Escamilla,” she wrote. “Also known as ‘Ziggy,’ he has been set free from disease and sickness.
“He has gained his beautiful wings to be with God and his best friend, his Grandpa, and baby sister. Please continue to lift our family in prayer during this sad and difficult time.”
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