In partnership with Rady Children’s Hospital, Padres Pedal SuperKids is a special program that brings children who are currently in cancer treatment together with Padres Pedal teams of participants who ride, fundraise and celebrate in their honor. Teams and families form meaningful bonds that transcend the event and bring inspiration and hope to everyone involved.
SuperKids program presented by:
Interested in becoming a part of the SuperKids program? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
On October 30th 2010, at the age of 9 months, Angelina Repetti was diagnosed with an aggressive childhood cancer called Neuroblastoma. A massive tumor wrapped around her spinal cord, compressing 95% of her spinal cord. She has been through both chemotherapy and multiple surgeries in San Diego as well as New York. At present, Angelina has had stable scans for almost 6 years. She has a long road ahead of her with orthopedic challenges due to the damage her tumor caused.
Angelina is a hero to many. She has been through more than most adults and is stronger than you can imagine. This girl is strong, sassy and very spirited. She’s certain that “hot lava pink” is her color. Baked Bear is her treat of choice and Elsa, from the movie Frozen, is her role model. As quoted by her Mom, “she’s our little firecracker. Her name is Angelina Vittoria, which in Italian means Angel of Victory.” Victorious she will be!!!
Diagnosis: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
In the fall of 2016, Aritzve had ankle pain that was getting increasingly worse. Her pediatrician treated her for a sprained ankle, but the pain never went away. When she stopped walking on Christmas Eve, Aritzve’s parents took her to the local emergency department where she received an X-ray and lab work, but was still treated for a sprain. In March, she was referred to Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego where she saw a hematologist and was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. She immediately began treatment and today, is in remission. Aritzve is learning to walk again with physical therapy, and is expected to fully complete treatment in June 2019.
Aritzve has been off treatment since September 2019 when she rang the end of treatment bell. She’s completely mobile now. And continues getting monitored by Radys every 2 months.
Diagnosis: Brain tumor
Bella was diagnosed at the age of 16 months with a brain tumor in March 2014. Under Dr. Crawford’s care, Bella had to immediately have 2 brain surgeries only 3 weeks apart. When Bella’s mom, Angelica realized that the full right side of her body was very weak, it was determined that Bella needed to start chemotherapy. She began a regimen of 16 months of chemotherapy and finalized her last treatment in June 2015. She was then stable and in remission for one full year – her family finally started to breathe easy.
After a year of being in remission, Bella’s mom started noticing the right side of her body getting very weak again – she would fall and favor her left side. This time, the weakness even started to affect her vision and her balance. Angelica took Bella back to Rady Children’s and they received the heartbreaking news that the tumor had returned. Bella immediately had to start chemotherapy again in August 2016. She continued chemotherapy treatments till Sep 2018.
Just a few months later in Jan 2019 Bella relapsed for the third time. After MRI results confirming that the tumor had returned Bella’s family had just one option and that was a third major 10-hour brain surgery. After doctors confirming 99% resection Bella’s family finally took a gasp. Two months after Bella started Radiation therapy and continues to be monitored by Rady’s Children’s Hospital with bi-monthly MRIs.
Despite 2020 being a tough year due to the pandemic. Bella has been doing awesome! Recent MRI’s confirming no evidence of tumor (wish a better time to celebrate). Bella is also doing great in school (Distance Learning) enjoying finally a perfect attendance.
Bella has a 13-year-old sister named Lisset and 4-year-old little brother named Sebastian. She is very shy but as she becomes more comfortable, she turns into a “comedian”. She loves to have dance parties and to wear makeup and just being a girly girl.
Diagnosis: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
On January 12, 2017, ten year old Caden was brought to the ER late at night thinking he had dengue fever, a mosquito-borne virus disease, from his recent travels to Thailand and Cambodia. After spending the night at the hospital Caden and his family were told the diagnosis: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. This news came completely out of left field for Caden and his family. The doctors were very thorough, explained everything. Caden stayed at the Rady Childrens Hospital Peckham Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders for almost one month. He has been resilient through everything and his mom says “He is the strongest person I know with an amazing attitude.”
Caden’s parents are both scientists at biotech companies doing cancer therapy research and clinical development. They never realized their personal life would cross paths with their professional lives in this way, “it gives our work more meaning” says Caden’s Mom.
Diagnosis: Wilms’ tumor
On June 19, 2017 we were a “normal” family, doing what everyone else does on a summer vacation. However, the next day, our family was devastated to find out our 3-year-old son had cancer. That day we woke into a nightmare and ended up facing a challenge that will, unfortunately, last the rest of our lives. Cash was diagnosed with nephroblastoma/Wilms Tumor. He had his left kidney removed on June 26th, along with a coconut-size tumor. The tumor ruptured during the surgery to remove it, and the cancer cells spilled in his abdomen. After surgery, we were so thankful he made it through, but the tumor rupturing was not the news we wanted to hear. On July 3rd Cash underwent another surgery to correct his bowel, which was folding into itself (intussusception). On July 10th we were able to go home for a week before he got a fever, and we were admitted to Rady for another week. Needless to say, we were in the hospital practically all summer.
Cash is our warrior and fighter! He has already been through so much. Cash received seven, full abdomen, radiation treatments at the Moore’s Cancer Center at UCSD. He finished his 11th round of chemotherapy at the Peckham Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Rady Children’s Hospital.
Support from our family, and friends (old and new) is so vital to Cash’s recovery and our family’s cancer journey. You never expect your child to get cancer. No one does, but there are many of us out there, as childhood cancer is NOT rare. Everyday, 46 children are diagnosed with cancer, and 7 children will die. Our family is dedicated to Cash wholeheartedly, and we will fight for more research to help find a cure for this horrible disease.
Diagnosis: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
Just days after his 5th birthday, Gideon woke up with extreme chest pain and a fever that lasted for more than a week. For the next several months, his symptoms would fade, only to return without warning. In November 2015 he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia—cancer of the blood and bone marrow.
Gideon’s treatment odyssey at Rady Children’s Hospital began with multiple rounds of chemotherapy that usually send cancer into remission within 30 days; for Gideon it took four months.
Because of Gideon’s lengthy time to reach initial remission, he was considered a very high risk for cancer relapse. Expert physicians in Rady Children’s Peckham Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders offered to Gideon’s parents a clinical trial that included more intense chemotherapy.
After three and a half grueling years, multiple types and rounds of chemotherapy and hospital stays, Gideon finally completed cancer treatment.
Six months later, Gideon began to show signs that the cancer had returned. He and his parents again sought care at Rady Children’s, where their fear of relapse was confirmed.
But, Gideon’s relapse made him eligible for an innovative treatment—CAR T-cell immunotherapy.
Since the CAR T-cell infusion, Gideon shows no signs of cancer but undergoes testing every three months to ensure the CAR T-cells continue to do their job.
Diagnosis: Wilms’ Tumor
Around 20 kids in North America are diagnosed each year with the same type of cancer as Hannah. She is very unique! Hannah was diagnosed in February 2014 with bilateral metastasized Wilms tumor (stage 5 kidney cancer). As a patient of Rady’s Hannah underwent six months of chemotherapy and had a major surgery to remove her left kidney and part of her right kidney. At UCSD Moores Cancer Center Hannah received radiation to her lungs and flank. Hannah now has no evidence of disease! Hannah loves cupcakes, reading chapter books, riding her bike, swimming and the color pink!
Diagnosis: B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
James was diagnosed in January 2017 and is currently in maintenance with daily chemotherapy, monthly infusions and quarterly lumbar punctures to administer chemo into his spine. He loves his little brother, science and math and look forward to playing sports, dreaming of traveling to Japan one day and becoming and inventor/scientist. The journey has been a long one, but treatment was completed in the spring of 2021!
Diagnosis: Mature Teratoma
Lota was diagnosed with an aggressive cranial teratoma in 2014. He had just turned 8 years old. Lota’s brain tumor had several elements in it such as hair, bone fragments, teeth, bowel tissue and skin tissues. These elements made resection very complicated and risky. Over the years, Lota has received treatment at the Primary Children Hospital of Utah, the Chidlren’s Hospital of Minnesota and here at Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego. A year ago, his team at Radys was able to remove 99% of his tumor. Sadly, Lota was left with an acquired brain injury after the fact. With time, we have faith Lota’s brain will rewire and he will be as close to the boy he remembers within him.
It’s been a long tough year of recovery for Lota but like a warrior, he refuses to give in nor give up. His motto is “I GOT THIS! YOU GOT THIS! WE GOT THIS! And with that he keeps pushing forward. Lota just started middle school and he is excited to be back in school again. However, he is nervous about what others may think of him and his deficits. Lota is so excited and ready to be part of the Padres Pedal the Cause this year.
Lota, a boy born to be a warrior. He is the fourth of six kids; our first boy after three girls in a row. We knew Lota was special the day we held him in our arms and so we named him Lotatoa – meaning Our Warrior in Samoan – his mother’s native language.
At the tender age of 7, Lota fell in love with the mountain trails. Trail running became his favorite past time with his dad. He loved hearing the birds and seeing breathtaking views from the mountain top. So when he was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive brain teratoma on October 17 2014, he used the lessons he learned from his trail runs to stand tall and fight. He had just turned 8 ten days earlier. Within the first six months of being diagnosed, Lota underwent four brain surgeries.
The first was for an Endoscopic Third Ventriculostomy, the next – a craniotomy for resection of tumor. Three months later the tumor had grown again, doubling in size, so a third surgery was performed for a biopsy, followed by another craniotomy for resection of tumor.
By May 2015, our once strong, loving and kind little boy struggled to cope with his new reality. But the hardest for Lota was realizing he was no longer the same when spending time with his peers. By August that same year, we learnt the tumor had grown back AGAIN!!. Lota became angry, aggressive and impulsive. Many times he begged us to just let him die. When he attempted to hurt himself, we admitted him to the children’s neuro-psychiatric hospital. It was the hardest thing we had to do but we knew it was the right thing to do for our Lota.
During this time, we earnestly sought out other treatment options and found a laser ablation treatment in Minnesota that sounded promising. The laser seemed to slow the tumor’s growth at first. Lota was thriving, and we thought we had found Lota’s cure. 2017 was a quiet year for Lota and our family, treatment-wise. During this time, our family moved from Utah to San Diego for Dad’s work.
As a family, we were very excited to write a chapter on our big move and finally find a cure for Lota. However, our excitement was quickly overshadowed by what the MRI scans showed in March. Lota’s tumor had grown again, and was now an oversized golf ball. We immediately connected with our team in Minnesota and a team at Rady Children’s. They both agreed laser ablation was not an option for treatment, and since chemo and radiation have been proven to not treat this kind of tumor well, we were looking at another craniotomy. Our hearts were once again shattered, because we know this part of the story all too well. We know that every time Lota undergoes a craniotomy, he returns to us a different boy, and his five siblings have simply accepted this fact, and learn to love a different brother again.
On June 11, Lota went in for his third craniotomy for tumor resection – it has proven to be a long and rough recovery. Lota fought resiliently to get better, but three weeks after the craniotomy, a shunt surgery was ordered to help drain the fluid buildup in his brain.
Lota came out of the shunt surgery battling delirium – as his mother I felt helpless and scared for my boy. It’s hard seeing your warrior turn into an angry, confused, and aggressive creature overnight. This was the hardest part of this chapter of our journey. But with patience, a great medical team and faith, we have embraced many tender mercies and small miracles along the way.
Diagnosis: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
In October 2017, 3-year-old Martin seemed to have very low energy, looked tired all the time and was cranky. His parents couldn’t understand why suddenly it was so hard for him to participate in the activities he used to love, like soccer and play dates with friends.
On 9/11/19, while giving Matthew his bath, we noticed a growth. He was not experiencing any pain, but we consulted with an after-hour nurse over the phone. At the nurse’s suggestion, we took him to Rady Children’s Emergency Room that night and they performed an ultrasound. After another examination a couple days later, a surgery was scheduled the following week to perform a biopsy. The results were devastating. A tumor was removed and diagnosed as spindle cell embryonic Rhabdomyosarcoma. About 300 children are diagnosed with this form of cancer each year in the United States. But, Matty has been a trouper and bounced back quickly after the procedure. He has since had another surgery and completed 22 weeks of chemotherapy. In March of 2020, his doctors found no evidence of disease. Due to this timing, Matty was unable to return to school right away, but has since begun to attend kindergarten in-person with the rest of his classmates. Matty continues to get scans every 4 months.
Diagnosis: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
Myer is a very energetic boy who enjoys skateboarding, surfing, playing baseball and basketball! He loves superheroes and upon diagnosis, he created his own superhero name and logo called Super Boy! In October 2015 while riding his scooter, Myer fell and scraped his leg. The scrape became puffy and infected and he was prescribed an antibiotic, however, one day later he starting having severe stomach pain and a high fever. Knowing something wasn’t right, his parents took him to the ER at Rady Children’s Hospital where he was admitted to the Hem/Onc floor.
On October 26, 2015, Myer was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Myer and his family have created a wonderful bond with the nurses and Child Life Specialists at the hospital. Thankfully Myer is currently in remission, however, he will be receiving Maintenance treatment until February 22, 2019. He plays on both a baseball and basketball team. He enjoys living life to the fullest and not letting cancer and his treatment get him down! Myer looks forward to you being a part of the Super Boy Crew!
UPDATE: Myer finished treatment on 2/22/19 and is doing well! He is in the 4th grade and plays catcher on his baseball team!
Diagnosis: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
In July 2017, Parker had a low fever for 5 days and was admitted to Rady Children’s after his white blood count showed to be dangerously low. After a week of labs and tests for infectious disease or autoimmune disorders, a bone marrow biopsy showed Parker had B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. He started treatment immediately and is currently in the maintenance phase where he receives daily oral chemo, monthly chemo infusions, and quarterly lumbar punctures to administer chemo into the spine. Parker is a joyful, inquisitive 6-year-old. He is an enthusiastic learner whose intense interest in facts and stats might, in part, explain his unwavering love for all sports. When he is not asking his parents to check the score and schedule of the latest games, he can be found singing, dancing or playing board games.
Diagnosis: Congenital Ganglioneuroblastoma
Riley was diagnosed with Congenital Ganglioneuroblastoma shortly after birth. After a 6 month hospital stay, difficult treatments and multiple surgeries he finally was able to go home and receive treatments via outpatient clinic visits at Rady Children’s Hospital. The healthcare team was so amazed by Riley he soon got the nickname Super Riley!
Unfortunately, a year post chemo Riley relapsed to his brain where they found high-risk Neuroblastoma. After a scary craniotomy and enduring a total of 21 rounds of chemotherapy Riley’s scans now show no evidence of new disease! He is currently taking part in a two year trial investigating a medication called DFMO which has had promising results so far.
Riley works intensively with physical, occupational, music and speech therapists. He loves to sing and dance, play with his big brother Braden and be active outdoors participating in adaptive ski lessons at Mammoth Mountain through Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra or visiting his Make A Wish inclusive playground in his neighborhood community park.
He is a beautiful little boy whose courage and strength is inspiring. Please join us for our support of Super Riley and his family!
Savannah (aka Savvy) was diagnosed with medulloblastoma at the early age of 2.5. It all started as a bad cold or mild flu that never completely went away. For about a month straight, she was vomiting almost every morning. Initially, the doctors wrote it off as post-nasal drip that was draining back into her stomach & making her nauseous. However, her primary doctor realized that something else might be going on & pushed for additional testing. On January 21, 2018 the world as we knew it came to a screeching halt as our daughter’s soon-to-be neurosurgeon walked into our ER room and said the worst 11 words I couldn’t ever possibly imagine hearing – “I’m going to be frank. Your daughter has a brain tumor.” She was admitted to the PICU at Rady Children’s that day. A follow-up MRI revealed more earth-shattering news as it picked up another smaller tumor in her brain and several more along her spinal cord. She was immediately scheduled for brain surgery the following day to remove the main tumor from her brain and insert a catheter into her head to drain the excess cerebral-spinal fluid that had been blocked from draining thanks to that nasty tumor. We received our first bit of good news in this whole mess that the surgery was successful and they had removed that tumor in almost its entirety. Even though the follow-up diagnosis was that she has cancer (which we already knew and suspected), it was somehow a breath of fresh air to know that we still had hope.
Savvy initially went through 6 months of inpatient chemotherapy, including 3 rounds of low-dose chemo followed by 3 rounds of high-dose chemo with stem cell rescue. Although it was a very intense regimen, she handled it all like a champ. Savvy is a fighter. She is an incredibly strong little girl with spunk & sass and a bossy attitude that was needed to carry her through. She amazed all of her doctors with how well she did – always wanting to play, whether that meant bouncing her little red bouncy ball with them or playing hide-and-seek. The nurses all knew her (including the ones who were never assigned to her) as she would spend most of her days in the hospital running the hallway, even pushing her own IV stand at times.
Thankfully, her tumors responded to chemotherapy – her MRI’s showed improvement and stability with most of them shrinking or remaining about the same. The ones that had remained in her spine were believed to be dead tissue since a lumbar puncture at that time came back negative for any tumor cells. However, because she still had “spots” showing on her scans that could potentially still be live cancer cells/tumors, her doctors placed her on another chemotherapy regimen. She receives this maintenance regimen 6 total days out of the month, all through the outpatient clinic. She has been on this routine for almost a full year, and it is continuing to work. You can barely see any visible spots on her latest MRI. There is a great chance that she will be NED (No Evidence of Disease) very soon & be able to go off of all treatment. The chance of recurrence will remain extremely high so we will follow up often with MRI’s.
If Savvy had a full head of hair, most people wouldn’t have a clue what she has undergone & is still going through on a daily basis. She is a normal kid that loves to play – she is addicted to board & card games and has some amazing strategy when it comes to Uno. She loves to dance & sing, go in the swimming pool, or get creative with arts & crafts. She makes friends wherever she goes & has her own way of getting people to not say “No” to her. Ultimately, she is showing cancer that it can’t stop her either!
Diagnosis: Pilocytic Optic Glioma
During Christmas break 2018, at the age of 10; Silas experienced a headache so severe that he got very sick and parts of his body got numb. This headache, along with a progression of more headaches caused us to take him in for an MRI. It was when the results came back that we found out he had a mass the size of a large marble in his brain.
After one brain biopsy and one craniotomy he was diagnosed with a pilocytic optic glioma. He immediately began chemotherapy which he is currently in today at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego.
Silas is an absolute fighter. Even though Chemo has affected his whole body, causing him to have to withdraw from his favorite school (Vintage Hill Elementary in Temecula) and replace with home hospital care, and discontinue the sports he so desperately loves and is amazing at (baseball and soccer); He still remains positive and maintains his silly sense of humor. Silas is well known for his tender, loving heart and kind actions towards others. He has even gone so far as to donate toys for other kids with cancer and makes encouraging crafts that he hands out to other kids getting Chemotherapy while he is actually getting chemo that same day too! His heart is huge and grows more and more compassionate for childhood cancer awareness and research every day.
Silas has a sister named Alexandria who is 12 and a brother Chase who is 9. Silas is a baseball fanatic and adores the Padres.
Sophia blessed our family on October 10th 2013. She’s a loving, fun, energetic and caring young lady who’s loved and addored very much by her family and friends. She just finished Transitional Kindergarten where she received an award for her friendship. She loves going on camping trips with her family, playing with her big sister, dribbling her balls and watching her favorite Disney shows.
Unfortunately, our lives changed on July 10th 2018. We received devastating results from a CT scan and MRI that revealed a 4 cm tumor and cyst on top of Sophia’s brainstem that was causing Hydrocephalus and the symptoms that brought us to the ER.
On July 11th she had a 7 hour craniotomy operation to remove the cyst, resect as much of the tumor as possible, and relieve pressure on her brain caused by Hydrocephalus.
Sophia’s treatment plan from there was 2 different chemo medicines once a week for a year to treat the residual tumor tissue with MRI’s every 3 months to check progress. We still have a long road ahead of us but she’s doing great!
Sophia has been through so much already in her short life but never complains and always has a smile on her face no matter what she has to go through. Her strength and positivity makes us so proud. She truly is our hero.
Diagnosis: Pre-B Cell Leukemia
You’ll never forget an encounter with Zainab — the three-year-old diva touches everyone with her spunk, her dazzling smile, and her charming questions. So when she seemed out of character with low energy during a birthday party in April, her mom took her to the doctor. On April 17, Zainab was diagnosed with pre B-cell Leukemia and began chemotherapy treatments immediately. Because of Zainab’s absolute neutrophil count, she remained in the hospital for 31 days straight. Zainab is about to enter phase 3 out of 5 before going into maintenance, which is expected to take 1-2 years.
The tiny cancer-slaying superhero has wowed everyone with tenacity with which she’s approached this mission — she’s remained her sweet, energetic self through her treatment, and takes all her medicines with an enthusiastic “Yup I can!” Zainab loves to dress up, go to the beach and play with bubbles. She’s had to put school on hold to focus on her treatments. These days, she enjoys play dates at the hospital playrooms, visiting with her nurse friends and visits to the gardens. Zainab has one big brother, Amaan, who rides in the Superhero Kids challenge in honor of his sister!
Zainab is now done with treatment and has no evidence of disease!
Diagnosis: Wilms’ tumor
In the late fall of 2016, Soledad began having intense stomach pain. In December, she was diagnosed with Wilm’s tumor, a rare cancer of the kidneys that primarily affects children. In January, the tumor was removed and Soledad started chemotherapy and is currently finished with treatment and is cancer free! She is a 13-year-old with a heart of gold who is caring and constantly smiling, and whose strength inspires everyone around her.
Diagnosis: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
Travis was diagnosed with T-Cell ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia) in October 2014 just after he turned 11. His treatment plan through Rady Children’s Hospital went perfectly and he ended his treatment in February 2018; he is a survivor! Travis has been an amazing champion throughout the entire experience, and wants to help support research that will lead to fewer kids going through what he did. Travis’s message to other diagnosed kids is to stay positive in your thoughts and be as active as you can. During treatment, he continued to play soccer, took up golf, and go fishing whenever and wherever possible! Our family thanks you in advance for supporting the innovative work in cancer research that Padres Pedal The Cause makes possible.