Damien was such an amazing 10 year old who really loved to play with Legos, Xbox, and bugs. He always enjoyed playing outside with his friends and nerf guns - always pretending they were really at battle. Damien had such a great imagination. He always talked about what he wanted to be in the future and how many kids he wanted. He wanted to be a girl dad! Damien always looked forward to family events and he was absolutely always saying jokes and playing pranks.
Damien randomly started getting excruciating headaches, and throwing up randomly. Covid had just started so anytime I would take him to the urgent care, doctors wouldn't listen to his symptoms. They all said it was a stomach bug. Symptoms continued for more than a week. After I took him to the urgent care about five times and the ER twice, I decided some one had to take a look at him. So I took him to the ER again even though they had told me not to because COVID was a bigger issue at the moment. The ER doctor that was working that day decided to give Damien a CT scan. It was that evening, March 23, 2020, that our lives changed forever. A mass was found on Damien's head. Immediately, they flew us out to Fort Worth Cook Children's hospital where we found out Damien had DIPG. The worst words any parent can hear. Your child has a year or less to live. Inoperable and incurable. WE CAN'T DO ANYTHING BUT RADIATION. Start making memories! I felt my soul leave my body. Like someone had punched me straight in my gut. We couldn't break the news to Damien, but he was smart - Damien knew what was going on. I swear that kid could read straight through my head. He received radiation and within a week Damien was back to himself. I kept telling myself, "well maybe they mis diagnosed him. All this will be better". Radiation allowed us time with Damien. Sweet time and memorable time. Damien was offered trials but due to time and money we didn't make it to trials. Damien started declining late January of 2021, and his oncologist said it was too late for trials, we better start staying home to enjoy his last days. During the last 2 weeks of Damien's life, all I prayed for was for someone to knock on our door and say we can treat the tumor. We found a cure for Damien and all these kids battling this monster!
"The funding that kids cancer gets is not enough. These kids deserve to be what they want to be when they grow up. They deserve to be outside getting dirty, getting scratches when they are running around. They deserve to play dolls and throw tea parties. They don't deserve to be laying on a table for hours with a mask hoping that radiation and medication will make them feel better." - Vanessa Moreno
Thank you for choosing to donate to The Cure Starts Now Foundation. 100% of this donation, after credit card processing fees, goes directly towards research to find the homerun cure for cancer starting with pediatric brain cancer research.
If you would like to make a donation by mail please send a check to: The Cure Starts Now Foundation; 10280 Chester Road; Cincinnati, OH 45215 and put the child's name in the memo.
The family receives notification of all donations made to this tribute fund automatically.