A Family's Life Mission After their Son's Cancer Battle
- Illusionist Criss Angel recently announced a second production at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas called Amystika—The Mindfreak Prequel.
- The charitable star—who donates millions to various organizations—has said he is on a mission to work as hard as he can to help other families suffering from childhood cancer ; He and wife Shaunyl Benson’s eight-year-old son battled (and beat!) leukemia twice.
- Although symptoms of leukemia are often initially tough to identify, make sure to get your child checked out if something seems amiss, and don’t stop for answers until you find out what’s wrong.
The Las Vegas hero—who married 30-year-old Benson in 2015— just announced that he is adding a second production to his Planet Hollywood residency called Amystika—The Mindfreak Prequel.Read More
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Angel has said that he will work as hard as he can to be able to donate as much as possible to charity. For example, he is building an “escape camp” outside of Las Vegas for kids battling cancer. “To help at least one kid that’s going through hell—that’s my mission,” the magician told DailyMail.com.
As Angel and Benson know, childhood cancer is certainly up there with the most heartbreaking experiences in life to witness. Angel wants to provide some fun for those suffering children and parents as a “means to be able to get away and escape their reality.” The big-hearted father said that he has already broke ground for the kids camp an hour north of the city.
Angel said “he is inspired by his own son’s battle against the odds to move into remission from his cancer,” and wants to push the limit in helping others in any way he can.
“God gave us warrior children,” Benson has said. Along with Johnny, they have a three-year-old boy Xristos and a six-month old baby girl named Illusia, who was born via emergency c-section.
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The family has been through quite a lot but realizes how fortunate they are, thus they want to make a difference in the lives of the less fortunate so that they can get their own sick children the best care possible.
Learning About Leukemia
Jonny Crisstopher’s specific diagnosis was B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), which is a type of cancer where the bone marrow makes too many immature lymphocytes, or white blood cells.
Dr. Olalekan Oluwole, Hematologist, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, sat down with SurvivorNet to talk about ALL, how it affects the body and the type of treatments that work to fight it.
In general, acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a type of cancer of the blood and bone marrow, but there’s so much more to know about disease. Dr. Olalekan Oluwole, a hematologist with Vanderbilt University Medical Center, recently sat down with SurvivorNet to talk about ALL, how it affects the body and the type of treatments that work to fight it.
“ALL is a type of cancer that is very aggressive,” Dr. Oluwole explained. “It grows very fast. Within a few weeks, a few months, the person will start to feel very sick. And that’s why we will have to give it an equally aggressive type of treatment to break that cycle.”
He says many times the leukemia is rested in the bone marrow, and because it is an abnormal growth, it just keeps dividing.
“It doesn’t follow rules, and it doesn’t stop,” he said. “Not only that, because this is part of the immune system, the immune system is sorta like the police of the body. So those abnormal cells that have now become cancer, they have the ability to go to many places. They go into the blood, and they often go into the tissue or the lining around the brain.”
“By the time somebody comes to us and they have ALL we already assume that it has gone everywhere in the body, and we have to treat them like that,” Dr. Oluwole said.
Symptoms of leukemia can vary depending on the type of leukemia. Common signs and symptoms of the disease include:
- Fever or chill
- Persistent fatigue, weakness
- Frequent or severe infections
- Losing weight without trying
- Swollen lymph nodes, enlarged liver or spleen
- Easy bleeding or bruising
- Recurrent nosebleeds
- Tiny red spots in your skin (petechiae)
- Excessive sweating, especially at night
- Bone pain or tenderness
Here at SurvivorNet, we always encourage people to advocate for themselves when it comes to cancer and, more generally, health care. When it comes to a child, the parent must become the advocate. Although symptoms of Leukemia are often initially tough to identify, make sure to get your child checked out if something seems amiss, and don’t stop for answers until you find out what’s wrong.