Colorado family turns to community for support while baby fights cancer
FOUNTAIN, Colo. (KKTV) - The joys of a parent are usually found in tiny bodies that bring with them hope, love, and a sense of purpose.
“We waited a long time to have a son,” said Chris Boyne, father of 5-month-old Leonidas. “I just always kind of thought he was meant for good things.”
This year, Chris, and his wife Chelsea, are suffering through one of the most difficult challenges a parent can face. About a month ago, their baby, Leonidas, was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma, a type of cancer that forms from immature nerve cells and is thought to begin before birth.
“[Doctors] said that the mass in his abdomen was just so big that he needed to be monitored at the hospital,” said Chelsea, mother of 5-month-old Leonidas.
Little Leonidas spent his first Christmas at Children’s Hospital in Aurora where doctors began an emergency round of chemotherapy to try and shrink the huge mass that was pressing on his kidneys, lungs, and heart. Complications from cancer mean that Leonidas has to wear an oxygen tank at all times.
“There’s nothing wrong with his lungs but the mass is so large,” said Chris. “He’s got such a tiny little torso that the lungs are competing for space in there and so, he’s having trouble getting enough oxygen.”
While the visits to the hospital have had a great toll on the small infant, mom and dad are also taking on his pain.
“It’s hard to see your baby have to go through all these pokes and prods and doctor visits and he’s just screaming and wanting you to help him and you can’t,” said Chelsea. “You know it’s best for him that he goes through it and it’s heartbreaking.”
“It’s tough, he’s so little you know,” said Chris. “You just don’t feel like he deserves this.”
Besides the emotional pain, Chris and Chelsea are also struggling financially as medical expenses continue to pile up while Leonidas works toward his recovery.
“I shudder to think what I owe Children’s Hospital already,” said Chris.
Chris is a mailman in Fountain, CO, and Chelsea stays at home with their other children; two daughters who are ages seven and four.
“You just want to break down and cry but you have to be strong for your kids and you have to keep them living a fairly normal life,” said Chelsea.
“Life doesn’t stop, we’ve just had to add all this in too,” said Chris. “It’s been really hard because we’re mom and dad so, you just got to keep going.”
While Leonidas gets his strength from his parents and sisters, Chris and Chelsea are turning to the community to find support. They’ve set up a GoFundMe page in hopes that people will donate to help cover the overwhelming medical costs.
“I hate asking for anything, I like to do stuff myself,” said Chris. “Up until this happened, I was working two jobs.”
“We just want the baby to get better,” added Chelsea. “We just want to have a healthy kid that can live a good life.”
In the meantime, Chris and Chelsea are getting to know their newest child and, despite an unfortunate cancer diagnosis, they can’t help but marvel at how much strength this little boy has shown in just five months.
“He’s just the happiest baby that you’d ever meet,” said Chelsea. “He’s got a lot of life in him, a lot of happiness.”
“He’s going to beat this and he’s going to grow up to be a big, strong boy,” said Chris. “I can’t imagine any other outcome for him.”
To donate to baby Leonidas’ fundraiser, CLICK HERE.
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