Stories

Featured Child

Zylik Christopher, 4
Taylors, SC

 

It's not your average four-year-old who gets excited about touching a boa constrictor, but then again Zylik Christopher is not your average four-year-old.  Tall for his age and not afraid to make a silly face, Zylik loves snakes.  Zylik also has neuroblastoma, a form of pediatric cancer.

When Zylik was a toddler, his mom Keke noticed a continuous cough that was making it difficult for him to breathe.  They headed to the hospital, and after taking x-rays the doctors found a mass in his chest.  When the tests came back positive for cancer, Zylik's medical team developed a treatment plan, which included a stem cell transplant, several surgeries, seven rounds of chemotherapy, and multiple days of radiation.  

For a single mom, the treatment process can be difficult, especially when juggling work schedules and hospital visits.  Though Keke's job was willing to work with her throughout Zylik's illness, she still had to take a lot of time off.  So when the hospital staff referred her to Clement's Kindness, she was relieved.

"If I needed assistance, they would help me," Keke explains.  "When we were short, they would help us fill in the gaps.  Clement's Kindness supported us with household expenses in addition to funding meal assistance and travel expenses for Zylik's bone marrow transplant at MUSC."

Zylik started kindergarten this fall at Taylors Elementary, a month after he finished his final round of treatment.  Keke is excited for him to go, but is also proud of his resilient spirit.

"He was so strong through it all," Keke says.  "It didn't keep him down."