Boy with cancer empowered by family’s superhero costumes
DALLAS (WFAA) - The family of a 3-year-old boy battling leukemia uses superhero costumes to give him courage as he deals with chemotherapy treatments.
Leone Hernandez, 3, has spent much of the last year fighting acute lymphocytic leukemia at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas. His parents, Natalia and Dario Hernandez, say the place scared him at first, so to tap into courage Leone wasn’t sure he had, they dressed him up as Superman.
But they didn’t stop there: Leone’s parents decided to dress up, too.
From The Incredibles to Captain America, Batman to Spider-Man, the Hernandez family bought all the costumes. For every chemo visit and doctor’s appointment, the entire family – including Leone’s older brother, Emiliano – suits up to activate their superhuman strength.
“We believe we have the superpowers that we need to face this battle,” Natalia Hernandez said. “We have to make sure Leo feels that.”
Oncologists say mindset matters in a cancer battle, even for a patient still a few months shy of turning 4. Family support also matters.
“Their family has taken this with, ‘We’re family. We’re taking this, and we’re all going to do it together,” said Leone’s doctor, Dr. Laura Klesse.
Natalia Hernandez says Leone has inspired his whole family. Their love for each other is their superpower.
“It’s difficult to watch him battle,” she said, “but he has shown us everything is possible in life.”
Leukemia is the most common cancer in children, accounting for nearly 1 out of 3 cancers, according to the American Cancer Society. The disease is highly treatable, but that treatment typically lasts two to three years.
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