My fellow colleague, Rizwan Minhas, and I recently ventured over to the other side of San Francisco to see how things were going for this little guy. When we arrived, we were greeted by some friendly, smiling faces. Hadrien was anxiously waiting outside, holding his little musical toy in one hand and his mom’s hand in the other. From afar, he looked like a perfectly healthy 3-year-old. He reminded me of every other toddler I have met. He was shy and cautious, yet excited and intrigued by the new faces. However, Hadrien isn’t like every other 3-year-old; he’s fighting a tough battle against acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) and he just finished his first phase of treatment.
We wanted to stop by before he started his second phase of treatment, which requires him to be in the hospital for four days every three weeks for the next five months. We brought some toys for his upcoming stay at the hospital, and while they did pique his interest, it seemed he was most excited about Rizwan’s Canon camera. He might have to wait a couple years for a gift like that!
It was great spending time with Hadrien and seeing his loving support system first-hand. Hadrien’s mom shared her experience and the craziness of how it all began and I can only imagine how she is keeping it all together.
The cancer was discovered earlier this year after a trip to the doctor’s office for an ear infection. Ever since, Hadrien has been in and out of the hospital and his road to recovery will not be short. His treatment in full will take about three and a half years— longer than he has been alive thus far. However, his first phase of treatment was successful and with it came great news: Hadrien was in remission. “Remission” is one of those words that brings hope to a cancer patient and their loved ones. It means the doctors can no longer see cancer cells in the body. Even though Hadrien is in remission, cancer cells can still be hiding, so he will continue his treatment.
I wanted to visit Hadrien because he’s fighting harder than I have ever had to my entire life. It made me grateful for my health and my family’s health, but moreover, showed me the importance of having a strong support system during a time of need.
Hadrien is too young to make treatment choices; he can only communicate to others what hurts and what doesn’t. His family has been there to make those choices and document what to tell doctors. Hadrien’s support system also includes Lycee Francais de San Francisco, a French immersion school, where the staff set up a YouCaring fundraiser for Hadrien and the family’s impending secondary medical expenses. Being a part of someone’s support system shows compassion in many different ways. Whether it’s helping with medical expenses, helping out around the house, or spending time with them when they are feeling down. It doesn’t take a lot to make an impact and show you care.
Even though we couldn’t gift Hadrien a Canon Rebel t3i, we hope the toys can ease some of his time spent at the hospital.
You can still lend a hand by donating to Hadrien’s fundraiser. Every bit of kindness truly is powerful!