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While other families were enjoying their Christmas festivities, 6 year old Xavier Rivera was being rushed to St. John’s Pediatric Care Unit after being sick for over 4 weeks with what doctors originally thought to be a virus. After running some tests, doctors had to tell Mom, Carmen Rivera, that Xavier had leukemia.

“Christmas night was the first time Xavier heard the word Leukemia,” said Carmen. “My heart ached and I was having difficulty breathing after I told him.”

It seems that the leukemia diagnosis was just the beginning as Xavier faced many negative side effects from the treatment such as seizures, chemical meningitis and leg pain. Xavier was a fighter and made it through! He even deemed himself the “Iron Man” because like Tony Stark, he has a “port” in his chest.

“I still remember when he said I had to pinky swear with him that I would always tell him what would happen next….and I did,” Carmen said. “I have kept that pinky swear ever since.”

Today, 13 year old Xavier is in middle school! He’s 5’5 and starting to play drums. He’s still super silly, cleaver and quick witted as always!

“I’m so thankful to St. John’s for taking care of our Iron Man! They were heroic in their treatment and care that they gave to this amazing tough kid!

Do you have a miracle child that was treated as HSHS St. John’s Children’s Hospital? Facebook message us or email and tell us your story! #miraclemondays