Our Children's Stories

Learn more about some of the remarkable patients at Children's. While these brave children battle serious conditions, each shares a common story of hope, courage and determination. Be inspired by their resiliency. See how they received the gift of childhood from Children's and from philanthropists like you.


Juan Zires

Juan Zires is only 5 years old. But he’s well-known at Children’s Medical Center. He’ll tell you so himself.

“I’m famous, and everyone knows me. Each day when I see a person who I don’t even know they say, ‘hi,’ as if they know me,” he said. “I’m the most popular kid in the whole hospital.”

Emma Cruz

Hospitalizations can be tough, especially for a 10 year old. For Emma Cruz, beating cancer was only one of her challenges. The chemotherapy she received for leukemia had made her unable to walk, so she was in a wheelchair for a year. Then, while still receiving chemotherapy, she had pneumonia and swine flu at the same time, which landed her in the ICU. She also had to have surgeries for painful kidney stones.

Westyn Bates

Westyn Bates was only 4 years old when he had two surgeries and went through 16 rounds of chemotherapy. It took 21 blood transfusions and 76 trips to the Pauline Allen Gill Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s Medical Center Dallas before he would beat the Ewing sarcoma that had affected his bones.

Elliott Cooper

As soon as the doctor walked in the room, Elliott Cooper’s mother knew by his posture that the news was not good. Dr. Bradley Weprin, a renowned pediatric neurosurgeon at Children’s Medical Center, told her chemotherapy had not been effective. Her son would need brain surgery.

Julia Brown

In December 2013, Julia Brown was under a towering stack of blankets with only her face visible. Insertion of her port for chemotherapy had caused septic shock.

Eight months later, the 9-year-old is joking and telling stories about the care she received in the Pauline Allen Gill Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s Medical Center.

Rohan Khatti

Last winter, 9-year-old Rohan Khatti and his family arrived at a fork in the road. Weekly immunotherapy shots had helped him overcome allergies to grass, weeds and trees, and he had outgrown his allergy to tree nuts. He had grown into an active, happy boy with hobbies like fencing and soccer. But one allergy, perhaps scarier than all, remained. Rohan still had peanut allergy – an allergy that is rarely outgrown and one of the leading causes of fatal food-induced allergic reactions.

Cameron Cooksey

When Stephanie Cooksey heard the words “son” and “cancer” in the same sentence, she felt devastated. Stephanie’s father and father-in-law had recently passed away from cancer. To her it was a scary and deadly disease.

The Jones Quintuplets

As missionaries to remote parts of Papua New Guinea, Gavin and Carrie Jones have learned to put their faith in to practice. However, not even they could believe what the sonographer told them when Carrie was six-weeks pregnant in March of 2012. “The sonographer asked if we were expecting multiples, and I replied, ‘Should we be?’” Gavin said. “She answered, ‘Yep.’ Then I asked, trying to make out what was on the screen, ‘Are those triplets?’ And she said, ‘I’m thinking quintuplets.’”

Shayna Strauss

Seven-year-old Shayna Strauss loves to dance, shop, get manicures and eat sushi. Shayna’s mom, Dawn, is beyond thankful to see her spunky first grader always on the go, because Shayna’s life did not start out that way.

Grayson Cheatham

Laurie and Michael Cheatham awoke one Saturday this spring to find their 3-year-old son, Grayson, unable to walk. “His leg was swollen, hard, and red around the area where he had received a vaccine injection the day before,” Laurie said. “If he put any pressure on the leg, he screamed. It was terrifying.”
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