In Duluth, Minnesota, an 11-year-old boy is fighting the battle of his life.
Last Thursday, a doctor in a Red C7 Corvette Coupe and the Duluth Police Department helped this remarkable young man named Dexter Ojeda check off two more things on his 62-item-long bucket list.
In October of 2014, Dexter, then just 7, was diagnosed with stage 4 Neuroblastoma, a very rare form of cancer that affects the nerve cells, bone, and bone marrow. His treatment was very aggressive and consisted of seven rounds of chemotherapy, a six-hour surgery to remove a large tumor in his abdomen, 12 sessions of radiation therapy, I-V radiation therapy, bone marrow transplant, and six months of antibody therapy. As of April 1, 2016 Dexter was diagnosed with no evidence of disease.
Then suddenly, one year later, almost to the day, scans revealed that the Neuroblastoma had returned. With the return of this type of cancer, the doctors caring for Dexter have very limited options for what can be done to treat it. Now that it had returned, there was no cure, he and his family were told.
Dexter thought long and hard about it and decided that further treatment was not the answer for him. That’s when he came up with his impressive bucket list of things he wanted to do in the year or two he may have left – things like “eat some weird foods (specifically bugs like a scorpion)” and “go to as many museums as possible!” (National Corvette Museum, are you reading this?)
That list also included “have dinner with my doctor” and “get a police escort” – two things that came true when his physician picked him up in a shiny red Corvette along with a big limo to carry the rest of his family to have a grand family dinner “fit for a king,” as the good doctor proclaimed.
Several officers volunteered to take care of the police escort, leading the motorcade through West Duluth to I-35 to the Kitchi Gammi Club where the feast awaited.
“One of our officers remarked it was one of the most meaningful experiences in her career,” Duluth Police Chief Mike Tuscan posted on Facebook afterwards. The chief added: “Dexter you are a remarkable kid and have wisdom beyond your years! We are honored to have helped make your family dinner a memorable event!”
Most impressive to this writer are the items Dexter has on his bucket list that help other people – things like “pay a stranger’s bill at a restaurant” and “prepare a care package for someone in need.”
For more details about Dexter and his on-going battle against cancer, as well as his bucket list, visit the following websites:
After listening to Dexter and his family, you’ll come to appreciate this young man who has positively touched more lives in his 11 years than many adults ever will.
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