“The most difficult part was watching him battle through all of his challenges and feeling like we were alone and not having support.” Robert was diagnosed with stage four neuroblastoma at the age of just 9 months old.
By the time he was two years old, he had undergone seven rounds of chemo, two tumor removal surgeries, a stem cell transplant, twelve rounds of radiation and six months of maintenance therapy. All of these procedures proved to be successful in removing the cancer from Robert’s system. However, the numerous rounds of chemo took its toll on his still developing body while saving his life. Despite remaining cancer-free for three years, Robert now has a speech delay and motor processing disorder. He also has dangerous scarring on his liver that must be consistently monitored, as well as damage to his bone marrow and adult teeth. Although he is cancer-free, Robert still faces an uphill battle every day.
“CC4C gave us a feeling like we are part of a support system in the community of CC4C and with his football team. Robert has made so many special relationships with these players that he still talks to today. They have brightened his life and given him a sense of hope and trust when he didn’t trust too many people.” Robert entered the CC4C program in 2015, and was paired with singer/songwriter Jack Ingram as his champion, and the Hays High School football team as his teammates. The football team showed tremendous support for Robert last year, attending nearly every CC4C event, and consistently being the loudest and most vocal supporting team. The continuous support from both the team and Jack Ingram instilled a new confidence in Robert that he otherwise would not have had. He had a group of people helping him through the difficult therapy sessions and sometimes painful days. Robert’s motto, “Never give up, you can do this”, stands as testament to the hope he has received from CC4C, his teammates, and his champion.
“I want him to have those special relationships that he has created and to know he has so many people hoping and praying for him everyday for his continued health and strength. That anything that comes his way we will tackle together and he will continue to always smile and be happy.” This year, Robert will return as a CC4C champion child. He will remain teammates with the Hays football players, and will be paired with Jack Ingram for a second year. Having already spent a year with his supporters, Robert will be able to continue building his relationships with them. The support he has received and will continue to receive will help him keep his hope for the future, and keep the ever-present smile on his face. Robert will continue to undergo therapy for his speech delay and receive various treatments. Without CC4C, he would be facing a much tougher road, but with his team at his side, Robert can smile all the way through.
In 2016, Robert returned as a CC4C for his second year as a champion child. He remained teammates with the Hays football players, and was paired with Heath Hale, who is with the highly sought after Cowboy Auctioneers. The support he has received and will continue to receive, even when he is a sustaining child, will help him keep his hope for the future, and keep the ever-present smile on his face. Robert will continue to undergo therapy for his speech delay and receive various treatments. Without CC4C, he would be facing a much tougher road, but with his team at his side, Robert can smile all the way through.