In September, I had the opportunity to meet a very quirky and charismatic 4-year-old little guy named Derrick who was recently diagnosed with a tumor on his optic nerve. Unfortunately, because of the location, surgery cannot be performed to remove it. Chemotherapy is the only option to shrink the tumor.
The tumor has caused Derrick to lose his vision rapidly. Derrick still asks his mom when they can go to the doctor to get glasses so he can see again. Despite his vision loss, Derrick is still an entertainer. He loves to dance and play musical instruments. You can find him at church singing with the choir or playing the piano. His mom has bought him several drum sets that he has worn out. He asks his mom every day when he can go back to school because he misses his friends and teachers. Derrick’s Christmas wish is for an iPad. He also loves anything musical, cars, and trucks.
Derrick’s 15 year old sister is a girly girl who loves clothes, music, and getting her hair and nails done. Derrick’s six year old sister loves to escape into a magical world with dress-up clothes. She also likes Build-A-Bear Workshop and music.
Derrick’s mom is a supportive and loving person who just wants her son to feel normal again. She works hard each day to make sure Derrick receives the services he needs to deal with his vision loss. She also takes care of her mother, who lives with them. As a single parent and working mother, the upcoming holidays concern her. When asked what she wanted most for Christmas, she said that SHE did not need anything—but wants her children to have a normal Christmas. The family enjoys eating out on Sundays after church. Derrick loves the Hilton Garden Inn Buffet and Cheddars. This family is always trying to find activities they can do together. Gift cards to department stores, a toy store, restaurants, or grocery store will help this family tremendously.
Thank you for listening to Derrick’s story and for providing assistance to this family during the holidays.
Masters of Social Work Intern
The Children’s Hospital at Memorial
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