The Valentine Family
Imagine that your teenager, who is otherwise the picture of health, begins complaining of ongoing stomach pain. Could it be celiac disease or another gastrointestinal issue? When Diane and Neil Valentine took their son Evan to the doctor’s office, their biggest concern was that the family might have to go gluten-free.
Instead, on October 19, 2018, the Valentines learned that Evan had leukemia.
“He was admitted very late on Friday, and by Monday, a representative from C.U.R.E. had swooped in to support and care for us,” Diane recalls.
The parent advocate came bearing meal vouchers, a tote bag filled with comfort items, and perhaps most valuable of all, boundless compassion.
“The outpouring of support from the C.U.R.E. community was beyond amazing,” says Diane. It was this kindness, in part, which helped 15-year-old Evan and his family stay positive — from the early days filled with questions and uncertainty, right up to the moment he rang the bell at Golisano Children’s Hospital to signal his survivorship.
Now, the Valentines want to give back by supporting other families who are struggling to make sense of a cancer diagnosis. They plan to participate in C.U.R.E.’s annual fundraising events, like the 5K walk/run.
“Evan’s diagnosis was awful, of course,” says Diane. “But thanks to everyone at C.U.R.E. who rallied around us and stayed by our side throughout treatment, we also saw an incredible silver lining.”