LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Cure 4 the Kids Foundation, Nevada’s only childhood cancer treatment center and facility for pediatric catastrophic diseases celebrated its largest number of patients and cancer survivors graduating from high school Saturday.
“Being emotional because you have kids graduating is one thing but a year ago I didn’t even know he would still be alive,” Amy-Miller James said.
Her son, Quintin, was diagnosed with stage four cancer during the pandemic.
“It was crazy!” Quintin said. “It happened so fast!”
This year he and his best friend, Kaysen Camathignok, graduated from Liberty High School.
“It’s a big accomplishment especially out of all the stuff that we’ve been through,” Camathignok said.
The graduate was diagnosed with bone cancer at the age of 11.
“It’s a celebration for us, it’s a celebration for them, it’s a celebration for the parents because we never lost hope,” Director of Patient Experience for Cure 4 the Kids, Katherine Salkonovic, said.
For the first time in Cure 4 the Kids Foundation’s history, a record number of current cancer survivor patients are graduating from high school. Saturday 36 patients were celebrated at the foundation’s annual, Bowl 4 the Kids.
“We really try to take care of the patients and the family as a whole,” Salkonovic said.
Salkonovic shared that not only are patients provided with medical and dental care, but also tutoring, scholarships, and help with college applications.
“That’s me!” Jordan Moreno said while proudly pointing at his picture on the screens above the lanes at Red Rock lanes on Saturday.
As Moreno continues to battle cancer, the graduate told 8 News Now, that with support from Cure 4 the Kids, he’s looking forward to the future.
“It feels good to graduate. I can’t wait to explore the future,” Moreno said.
Many of the graduates were diagnosed with cancer as young children.
“The doctor said I had about a small chance of living but look at me now 18, graduated high school, and moving on to bigger things,” Lynzie Kio, who graduated from Harbor View, said.
The support from their families, community, and Cure 4 the Kids helped them to get to this special moment.
“It’s a chapter that’s closing but there’s so much more out there that we can experience,” Quintin said.
“No matter what age of the child that’s going through this procedure and what their cancer is they just know they’re not alone,” Quintin’s mother, said.
According to Cure 4 the Kids, about 300 bowlers participated in this year’s Bowl 4 the Kids at Red Rock Lanes. Many of the bowlers were young patients.
Cure 4 the Kids will continue their work in the community to help them reach high school graduation.
If you’d like to donate, volunteer, or learn more about Cure 4 the Kids click here.