Six-year-old Isaac Juarez loves robots.
Actually, his mother Elide De Luna said, he loves to build them.
His parents got him a little robot from Hobby Lobby that De Luna said has a thousand pieces, so they’re trying to work on it.
De Luna said he also loves to play video games, and that anything with the Super Mario Bros., Mario and Luigi, are his favorite games. Additionally, he loves to read, watch movies and play Legos.
However, De Luna said Isaac’s daily routine starts with hospice care. He is diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a cancerous tumor St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital says starts in the region of the brain at the base of the skull. The tumors also tend to spread to other parts of the brain and to the spinal cord.
This isn’t the first time Isaac has been diagnosed; when he was 3, he was treated at St. Jude’s, where he had the tumors removed.
When he was diagnosed again, De Luna shared the news on social media.
Once again, they were also returning to St. Jude’s for Isaac to receive treatment.
Three months ago, Isaac was put into a trial study, because his regular chemo wasn’t working. But in June, they were informed that despite the investigational chemotherapy, the tumors have grown. That’s when Isaac was taken out of treatment and placed into hospice care.
If you’re having a rough day, let somebody know
When New Braunfels resident Abbie Maberry saw De Luna’s post on Facebook, she took action. She created a Facebook post tagging De Luna, asking people for help.
“Friends, we want to do some BIG and small things to help his family during this time!!” Maberry wrote. Issac (sic) is one of 5 kids so this is terribly hard for his siblings as well. If you would like to help us achieve our plans for Kiki and his family, please message email@example.com. Let’s help make some fantastic memories for the Juarez Family!!”
Mayberry said when De Luna shared the news on her personal page, she knew the community had to unite and do something for Isaac.
“We have been discussing trying to do something for him for his birthday anyway,” she said. “He’s about to turn 7 at the end of July, and (hospice) came up.”
Thus, Maberry wanted to utilize the MNB group to help give Isaac and his family a summer to remember.
“We had a conversation in this group that if you’re having a rough day let somebody know, we’re here to help,” Maberry said.
Maberry and Moms of New Braunfels have helped the Juarez family before. When De Luna and Isaac were in Tennessee at St. Jude’s for treatment, MNB came together to create a meal train for the rest of the family here at home, along with providing other activities.
They have been following the family for a while, and through MNB-hosted activities, Maberry and De Luna met and became friends.
“We all fell in love with the family,” Mayberry said. “They’re amazing.”
Cancer is expensive
Maberry said they have received some incredible responses from businesses in New Braunfels. The family received gifts such as a two-night stay, tickets to Schlitterbahn, the children’s museum, Evo and a family photo shoot.
They are also open to taking gift cards and financial donations to present to the family.
“We want to let the family know that New Braunfels is behind them,” Maberry said. “They’re a sweet family, they’re trying so hard, and we just want to make sure they have as many great memories.”
Maberry said they have a lot of activities lined up for the family, as well as financial donations to take the burden off of them.
“It’s things that would keep them from having to worry about the bills getting paid,” she said. “If they take off work, they don’t have to worry about hours or shifts being missed. Anything for them to be as stressed free as they can. “
Maberry also wants to have people send cards to Isaac and the family, too. For that people must visit the new Facebook page, called, “Isaac’s BEST summer ever,” and message the page’s administrator.
“We’re not giving up, but according to the doctors, this is it,” Maberry said. “We’re praying and hoping that maybe there will be a turn around, something that will put him back into treatment.”
It’s not easy
De Luna said she was not surprised of what the community has done for the family because they are always helping each other out.
“I’m happy (Maberry) offered to do that, because she’s always looking out for other people in need,” De Luna said. “I feel blessed, they’re like our angels. Even though we’re going through a tough situation, this is kind of takes our minds off whatever we’re going through.”
De Luna said it has been tough for the rest of the family, though they are trying to keep things normal as possible.
She said her two oldest girls feel depressed and sometimes she sees their watery eyes.
“They hug their brother and say ‘I love you,’” De Luna said.
She said of her two youngest, the 1-year-old does not understand but he knows something is wrong.
“He’s more attached to Isaac, he hugs him,” De Luna said. “I never told him to do that, he just does it.”
The other brother, age 3, does not want to leave him alone. De Luna said he wants to do everything with Isaac. He doesn’t understand either, but he knows something’s going on.
Her husband, Raul, has been taking the news very hard, she said.
“He’s still in denial,” De Luna said. “He’s like, ‘There’s no way he’s going to go. We have to do everything to keep him.’”
She said being home adds to his stress, so he’s always working for relief, to be distracted of what might happen.
Nevertheless, she said he has been cutting hours.
“I’ve been more with (Isaac) for almost four years, I kind of know what to expect in a way. (Raul) has never seen anything like it, he’s like, ‘It’s not going to happen.’”
Isaac’s day starts off with hospice care, letting the admission person come in then his nurse, and other people that work with them, checking up on him to ensure he’s okay.
De Luna said he sometimes feels tired, so as a family they have a relaxing day of staying home, keeping an eye on him and watching movies while they can.
One experience De Luna wants to have for Isaac: for him to see snow.
“He wanted to see snow,” De Luna said. “I didn’t think we were going to be in this situation now. I let it go because he was in treatment. Now I regret it. I don’t know if he’s ever going to see that.”