Fifth-grader faces cancer treatment with courage
June 28, 2021
Nate Lopez Grade: 5 School: Del Roble Elementary District: Oak Grove School District ACSA region: 8
Fifth grader Nate Lopez has lived more than one lifetime of hurt. His mother passed away when he was very young, and he and his siblings went to live with their grandmother. He experienced trauma that caused him to isolate from others. Then last year, Nate was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and underwent numerous treatments. Through all he has endured, Nate has found loving support from his “warrior” grandmother Jessica and his Del Roble Elementary “familia.”
With a team of educators providing him with positive interventions, Nate knows he is welcomed, safe and cared for at school. He has inspired all those around him with his grace, courage and optimism.
How has your grandmother helped you throughout your childhood? She was the one who would take me to my doctor’s appointments. She was the one who fed me. And she was the one who got the groceries. I’m really attached to her.
You were diagnosed with leukemia last fall. How have you dealt with that? I just think to myself, just do all the treatments. And the more you do the treatments, the faster you’ll be done with it.
For people who don’t understand all of the grueling things that go into cancer treatment, can you explain what hospital visits are like for you? First of all, make sure you stay healthy out there because right now we have this virus. And it’s not good to get cancer treatments right now because then you have to take the coronavirus test often. I would have to take two steroid pills. I would have to take leukemia pills. They would have to check my weight. They would have to check my physical abilities so they could do spine taps.
What has your school community done to help you through all of your challenges? Sometimes they would give me money for hospital treatments or bills.
Do you think of yourself as brave? Yes. At first, I was scared. But now I just think it’s a nuisance.
To people who might be in a similar situation to you, what’s your message to them? Stay fearless and stay strong.
Region 8 2021 Every Student Succeeding winner Nate Lopez and his grandmother.
Region 8 2021 Every Student Succeeding winner Nate Lopez.
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