Jasmin Velasquez’s son Carmelo was diagnosed with leukemia when he was just two years old. What started as breathing spells during which he held his breath for long stretches of time, turned into lethargy, bruising easily, and high fevers. After many tests with no conclusive results, his doctors concluded it was a viral infection, but Jasmin knew something more was going on; she stopped at nothing to get to the bottom of Carmelo’s illness.
Finally, his doctors ran blood tests and found that Carmelo had leukemia. After his diagnosis, Jasmin and her family immersed themselves in the cancer world. They quickly adjusted to his cancer treatment routine, weekly clinic visits, hospitals stays, spinal taps, steroid injections, and chemotherapy. It was a total life-style change for the family. He wasn’t able to play outside or eat certain foods, but Carmelo handled the changes very well. His mom says that watching him go through treatment showed her how great her son is.
Jasmin has watched her son grow up during treatment and says he’s “handled more things than any child should have to.” While sometimes she wishes that she could take all of the pain away, she knows that the treatment is working.
Since Carmelo’s diagnosis, his family has decided that raising awareness about children’s cancer is their top priority. Every year they walk in their local CureSearch Walk, helping raise funds and spread the word in their community. Carmelo loves the Walk, he loves being around other kids who have gone through the same thing as him and the family loves supporting an organization that is dedicated to funding innovative and critical children’s cancer research.