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Local 5-year-old boy braving leukemia

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YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY)- September is childhood cancer awareness month.

We're sharing the story of a local boy recently diagnosed with cancer.

“He is very energetic, always happy. Super hyper all the time," Eliza Ojeda described her son Xavier King.

She continued, “He’s always just playing, making everybody laugh.”

Earlier this month when she noticed King wasn’t his normal active self, Eliza knew something was wrong.

Eliza said, “[King] was super tired, sleeping more than usual, almost all day. He was just really weak and really pale.”

Bloodwork from Yuma Regional Medical Center(YRMC) revealed it was most likely leukemia, and urged the family to rush King to Banner Children’s Hospital in Phoenix.

Doctors diagnosed the once vibrant child with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

King's aunt, Isabelle Sanchez, said, “We're trying to understand him. We want to do more, we want to help him. But there’s not so much that we can do but be there emotionally and be there for him.”

King is one of the 10 children in Yuma currently undergoing treatment for various childhood cancers.

Many families have to travel outside of Yuma for specialized care, taking off of work, adding to the financial hardships.

Isabelle said, “The driving back and forth and sometimes the hospital’s hotels and rentals are full and [we] have to pay out of pocket.”

YRMC launched its initiative, Light the Night, to raise awareness of childhood cancer and funds to support the families with resources.

Jackie Woodwell, executive director of the Foundation of YRMC, said, “If [YRMC] can help alleviate some of those travel costs, maybe through gas cards, perhaps meal vouchers for when they get to that location, and other costs as far as lodging and other things as well.”

Two weeks in the hospital, enduring chemo treatments, and all of the shots and pokes along the way, King finally returned home on Sunday.

His mother said, “He doesn’t cry, and it just shows me that he’s really brave.”

To support the Ojeda Family, donate to the family's GoFundMe or purchase a King's Fight Ribbon T-shirt. All of the proceeds go toward Xavier King's treatment.

Continue to follow King's journey via his Facebook page, @BeatCancerWithKing.

People wanting to make a donation for Light the Night can use this link: Donations can also be mailed to: The Foundation of Yuma Regional Medical Center, 2400 S. Avenue A, Yuma, AZ 85364. People with questions may call (928) 336-2445 or email

The Foundation hopes to raise $25,000 through Light the Night, funding that will establish the Pediatric Oncology Support Fund. Although Light the Night is temporary, the fund will be a permanent endeavor.

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Aziza Shuler

Aziza Shuler joined KYMA in March 2019 wearing many hats including the newest anchor and producer for FOX 9, as well as a multi-media journalist for KYMA.


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