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 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. These brave young cancer fighters have a one-of-a-kind experience on event weekend as they rally together with the entire Padres Pedal community and are recognized on the field at Petco Park!
Team: Team SeaSpin’rs
Diagnosis: Brain tumor
Favorite foods: Pizza, Mac & Cheese
Favorite activities: Making faces and dance parties
Fun Fact: She is very shy but, as she becomes more comfortable, she turns into a comedian!
Bio: Bella was diagnosed with a brain tumor in March 2014, and 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 down and favor her left side. This time, the weakness even started to affect her vision. 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. This time, Bella’s treatments have been not quite as intense, but she is still back at Rady Childrens’ every 2-4 weeks for chemotherapy.
Bella has a 9 year old sister named Lisset and 7 month old little brother named Sebastian. She is very shy but as she becomes more comfortable she turns into a “comedian,” and her favorite TV show is Peppa Pig.
Team: Team NuVasive
Diagnosis: Burkitt Lymphoma
Favorite activities: Soccer, piano, art, Girl Scouts, science, and hanging out at the beach
Fun Fact: Sarah helped to create two programs at Rady Children’s Hospital that bring together young, isolated patients to connect with each other
Bio: Sarah is 9 years-old and is the middle child of three girls. She enjoys a close relationship with her older sister, 12 year-old Arianna, and her younger sister, 5 year-old Julieta, as well as her sweet puppy, Ace! Up until Fall 2017, Sarah was a regular girl, excited about entering the 4th grade and participating in her favorite activities: soccer, piano, art, Girl Scouts, science, and hanging out at the beach. However, in early September, Sarah began to experience a myriad of unexplained symptoms that had the family concerned. Multiple blood tests, MRIs and EEGs revealed no abnormalities, but they remained vigilant as our gut instincts knew something was not right.
On October 10, 2017, a CT scan revealed that Sarah had Lymphoma. Specifically, Sarah was diagnosed with a very rare, high grade stage 3 Burkitt lymphoma of the intra-abdominal lymph nodes. The cancer had originated in her pelvis with two large masses and had quickly spread, through her blood, into her lymph nodes, her head, and behind her eyes. The days and weeks following her diagnosis were a blur – Sarah’s treatment plan was necessarily aggressive and included surgeries, blood transfusions, chemotherapy, and lumbar punctures. The side effects of her treatment were staggering as she endured hair loss, infections, significant weight loss, fevers, and severe fatigue. Amazingly, on January 26, 2018, the Lozaz received the best news: Sarah was in remission. While she still has several months of maintenance chemo to weather, Sarah is finally able to see the light at the end of the tunnel and is looking forward to a time when she can return to her life as an active and energetic girl.
Sarah’s spunky, daring, and strong-willed personality has continued to shine, despite all of the difficulties she has had to face. Her family, friends, and treatment team at Rady Children’s Hospital have been wowed by her spirit and strength. While in-patient at Rady Children’s, Sarah noticed that many of the children at the hospital were isolated and unable to connect with other young patients, either because it was too risky for them to leave their rooms or because they were too shy to do so. Sarah and her mom came up with two wonderful programs aimed at allowing kids to connect with others who are similarly situated. The first idea, “CHAT with Champs,” places walkie talkies on the counter at the nurses station. Kids can freely come up and grab one to begin to chat with others. The second idea, “Get to Know You Jenga,” was conceived after Sarah noticed that children were often very reserved and hesitant to initiate a conversation even during organized social gatherings at the hospital. Sarah used a label-maker to add fun questions to each block in a Jenga game with the hopes that it would serve as an ice-breaker and prompt children to engage and feel more comfortable with their peers. Both programs have been great successes and have allowed Sarah and others to connect with fellow warrior kids facing tough challenges. Additionally, Chat with Champs is now a non-profit organization and is working to bring these programs to more pediatric hospitals, because no child should fight cancer alone. Sarah is so thankful to God for her miracle and grateful for her amazing oncology team at Rady’s Children’s Hospital. We are forever thankful for the support and love of our family and community friends as we could not been able to do this without them.
Team: Sempra | SDG&E
Diagnosis: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
Favorite foods: Strawberries, spaghetti
Favorite activities: Singing, free stylin’ and dancing
Fun fact : Aritzve loves creating makeup tutorial videos and also she loves dancing and performing for a crowd.
Bio: 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 and 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.
Team: Bill’s Angels
Diagnosis: Wilm’s tumor
Favorite activities: Watching YouTube videos
Fun fact: She loves unicorns!
Bio: 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.
Watch Sol’s video: https://youtu.be/4CsHyZpMXsE
Team: Teen Team
Diagnosis: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)
Favorite activities: Pool, beach, and just being on the water
Superhero: Dusty the Plane from the movie Planes
Fun fact: He thinks Dusty is his brother and had a Dusty cake for his birthday!
Bio: 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.
They took him to the doctor where he was diagnosed with pneumonia, but when they noticed broken blood vessels on his belly, Martin’s pediatrician told them to go urgent care as soon as possible. In urgent care, doctors discovered that Martin had low platelets and he was transferred to Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego where, two days later, he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, medium risk.
The treatment began with steroids, and other medicines that were rough on Martin’s small body. He was weak, showed little interest in activity and rarely smiled. After two months of intensive, Martin was in remission. Today, he is doing great and everyday teaches his family lessons on how to be strong, and how to live with a smile on their faces, even when fighting a tough battle.
Diagnosis: acute lymphoblastic leukemia
Favorite Food: potstickers
Favorite Activity: Building legos, nerf gun wars, playing video games
Fun Fact: Has his own bat cave
Bio: Gideon was diagnosed at the age of 5 with a very high risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia. He is true to his name, a warrior that lives with strength and positivity inspiring others to be brave and happy. He is an affectionate little man known to comfort the other kids as well as pulling pranks on all of the doctors and nurses, a true love for making people laugh and feel loved. Gideon will continue his faily treatment until he is 9 years old and is already planning a big end of treatment celebration!
Team: Team Hannah
Diagnosis: Wilms Tumor (Kidney Cancer)
Favorite Food: Angel hair pasta and anything chocolate
Favorite Activity: Reading
Superhero: Hermione Granger (from Harry Potter book series )
Bio: 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 is approaching two years with No Evidence of Disease! Hannah loves cupcakes, reading chapter books, riding her bike, swimming and the color pink!
Team: Team Resilients
Diagnosis: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)
Favorite Food: Pizza
Favorite Activity: Fishing, Soccer, Rocket League
Superhero: Hawkeye (Marvel)
Bio: 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.
Team: Bill’s Angels
Favorite Food: Mexican Rice
Favorite Activity: Horseback Riding
Superhero: Wonder Woman
Bio: Weighing in at only 32 pounds, this adorable seven-year old little 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.
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 4 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. 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: B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
Favorite food: Pizza
Favorite activity: Pokeman and Mario Kart
Fun fact: Likes to cook and wants to be a pizza chef when he grows up.
Bio: In January of 2017 James was pale, tired and thought to be anemic. When he couldn’t walk from the car to his classroom, he was taken to Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego and admitted to the Peckham Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders where he started treatment for D-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Currently, every two weeks James stays at the hospital and receives high dose chemotherapy. With a goal of reaching maintenance by 2020, James and his family like to focus on the small wins.
Team: Oceanside Glasstile
Diagnosis: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
Favorite food: Ice Cream Sundae
Favorite activity: Baseball
Bio: Myer is a very energetic 6-year old 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 is in first grade and 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!
Team: Padres Pedal Staff
Diagnosis: pre-B Cell Leukemia
Favorite foods: Mac & Cheese, Kebobs
Favorite activities: Blowing bubbles and dancing
Superhero: Minnie Mouse and Disney princesses
Fun Fact: Zainab loves going to baseball games and cheering on the Padres!
Bio: 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 is riding in the Super Hero Kids challenge in honor of his sister!
Diagnosis: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
Bio: 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 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.
Team: Immunotherapy Foundation
Diagnosis: Wilms’ tumor
Favorite foods: Mac & Cheese
Favorite activities:“Jumping!” Playing chase
Fun Fact: He might be the youngest of the family but he’s the boss of the family.
Bio: On June 19th of this year we were a “normal” family, doing what everyone else does on a summer vacation. However, next day, on June 20th, 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’s for another week. Needless to say, we were in the hospital practically all summer.
Cash is our warrior and fighter! He just turned 4 years old on October 5th, and has already been through so much. Cash received seven, full abdomen, radiation treatments at the Moore’s Cancer Center at UCSD. He just finished his 11th round of chemotherapy at the Peckham Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Rady Children’s Hospital. We will continue treatment until it ends on December 27th.
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.
Team: Team Super Riley
Diagnosis: Congenital Ganglioneuroblastoma
Favorite activities: Singing and dancing, playing with his brother, and skiing!
Bio: 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!
Diagnosis: Nephroblastoma/Wilms’ Tumor
Favorite activities: Cooking, swimming, going to the model train museum
Fun Fact: Ryker loves train and can answer almost any train question!
Bio: Ryker was born on December 4, 2013 as a silly, active, and loving life-of-the-party kind of child. Unfortunately, on August 9, 2017 he become just 1 out of approximately 250 children diagnosed per year with T-ALL (T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia) in the U.S.
Ryker is an only child to young parents who care for Ryker full time while also attending college. Currently Ryker’s parents are both college students with no income already facing intimidating hospital bills. They are reliant on family, friends, and the community to get through this tough time.
Before the diagnosis Ryker loved to play with animals, especially the new born goats and chicks at his grandmother’s farm. He loves sharks, whales, waterfalls and going to the model train museum at Balboa park. Ryker is a train fanatic and can answer any train related question asked to him. He also loves to go swimming with Mia, the family dog and his best friend. Because of Ryker’s compromised immune system and long hospital stays he hasn’t been able to do many of these things for quite awhile. The treatment plan will be a total of 3.5 years with a 5 year goal to cure.
Ryker recently entered into maintenance phase on June 4 after a stressful 10 months of intense weekly/daily chemo protocol and he was cleared to go swimming for the first time since diagnosis! This current phase consists of once-a-weekend in-clinic chemo treatments per month, nightly oral chemo and a steroid medication. This new phase will last approximately 2.5 years.
Team: Bill’s Team
Diagnosis: Mature Teratoma
Favorite activities: Trail running
Fun Fact: Lota ran a 50K after his third brain surgery
Bio, as told by his mom, Rowena:
“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.
The great news is, the neurosurgeon was successful in removal the whole tumor this time and since being home, Lota has been the most patient, understanding and forgiving person I know. He is patient, even with all the 10+ appointments he has every week. He smiles in situations that would make any normal person go insane. He tells you that all his therapy sessions suck but he still goes, and he still does the work that is required.
We are excited to be part of the Padres Pedal the Cause this year and do our part in helping raise money for more cancer research as we fight for a cure for warriors like our Lota.”