CALABASAS, Calif. - September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and health officials say at least 10,000 children in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer this year. In honor of the important month, Good Day LA’s Amanda Salas is sharing Madisyn Damas’ story.
Madisyn’s story hits close to home for Salas as September also marks Blood Cancer Awareness Month. Salas is a non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma survivor.
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On Friday, Salas introduced us to Madisyn Damas on Good Day LA. Madisyn, who goes by Madi, isn’t letting her diagnosis stop her from smiling and is sharing her story to help others.
The Calabasas 17-year-old’s world was turned upside down after a recent cancer diagnosis. Through it all, she keeps a positive attitude.
"In the beginning of June, I was at school, and I just started feeling numbness in my leg," she recalled.
"We thought originally maybe it was just a pulled muscle," her mother, Michelle Damas, added.
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"She was probably on 20 or 30 different medications at any given time," Michelle Damas recalled. "From June 1 to July 1, we were in the hospital just waiting."
Michelle Damas advises parents who notice their children having bizarre symptoms or unique sensations to get checked "just to be on the safe side."
"I’m a single mom and there’s a lot to juggle. Not only that, but Madi’s now a senior. So, she’s dealing with this as we’re preparing for college."
For now, Madi is focused on treatment and graduating from high school. She is set to begin her next round of chemotherapy soon.
The Calabasas High School community has rallied to support the Damas family, including helping provide meals and emotional support.
"I’ve never seen such a village of people come together to help both of us," Madi said.
Keeping a positive outlook has been crucial for Madi.
"My biggest learning curve has been telling myself ‘I’m strong enough,’ and ‘I got this.’ And I know all of you are capable of doing that as well," Madi said.
To help the Damas family, you can donate to their GoFundMe.