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Eduardo, one of our 2023 Children's Miracle Network Hospitals® Heroes

When Eduardo was 7 years old, he began frequently feeling ill while at school. He found himself gasping for air after completing minor tasks, such as walking up a flight of stairs, often causing him to feel sick to his stomach.

After a few weeks of experiencing consistent ailments, Eduardo’s mother, Maria, scheduled an appointment at Gundersen Health System to find the underlying cause.

An initial round of tests and bloodwork soon progressed to an in-depth analysis of Eduardo’s condition. Shortly thereafter, his care providers delivered devastating news that no parent ever wants to hear.

Eduardo had Leukemia.

“When we found out he had cancer for the first time, it was very hard to hear,” said Maria. The family quickly sprang into action and met with Jennifer Orozco, MD, to start developing Eduardo’s treatment plan. “We just went from there and really relied on Dr. Jen because we didn’t know anything. It was all new to us,” explained Maria.

Following his diagnosis, Eduardo began his chemotherapy journey and endured several hospital stays while adjusting to the strong medication.

The next few years were a rollercoaster for Eduardo and his family. He went into remission, but then discovered a year later that the cancer had returned which meant starting chemotherapy all over again.

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals was there every step of the way with gas gift cards to aid with travel expenses for Eduardo’s appointments and hospital stays and meal vouchers for the Gundersen cafeteria so his family could be at his side. Child life specialists, who receive CMN Hospitals’ support, helped make some of those appointments a little easier, providing games and distractions before and between procedures.

“I would like to say thank you,” Maria expressed. “I am very appreciative of everything we’ve received from CMN Hospitals. Donations make a big difference. They really help families going through a hard time.”

Today, 13-year-old Eduardo is back in remission. He visits Gundersen once a month for check-ups and every three months for lumbar punctures to monitor his cancer status.

Eduardo has persevered through much adversity during his medical journey; however, he leads a life no different from any of his peers—playing video games, enjoying the outdoors, riding bikes and spending time with friends. He’s our Hero.

Learn more about CMN Hospitals at Gundersen

1900 South Ave.
La Crosse, WI 54601

(608) 782-7300

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