MIAMI (CBSMiami) – An adorable 2-year-old boy, and the son of Miami-Dade police officer, is in for the fight of his life.
Doctors recently diagnosed little Alex Flores with acute myeloid leukemia.
The hospital room at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood is home to the spunky little guy with the big blue eyes these days.
The lives of Alex Flores and his parents changed January 15 after doctors told them had cancer.
The diagnosis came just nine days before his second birthday.
“It was a flurry of information and just so overwhelming,” explained Alex’s dad, Marvin Flores. “Thoughts racing through the head, crying, stop crying, look out the window, look at him. Still can’t believe what’s going on.”
Marvin and Venessa were so stunned it took them a few days to tell their family despite the fact Alex was already in the hospital getting an intense and lengthy first round of chemo.
“For sure denial…I didn’t even know how to tell people. I didn’t wanna tell people,” Flores told CBS4 Reporter Donna Rapado. “People would and I would say, ‘Alex is sick’ and then I would start crying and hang up the phone.”
But the couple quickly had to refocus – love and support helping them along.
“You have no choice but to accept it and we gotta be strong for him,” Flores said.
Alex is back in the hospital for another stretch of chemo, bone marrow and spinal taps.
As the chemo does its job it also requires the two year old be quarantined, fevers, no appetite, sleepiness, his immune system taking a dive for a few days.
Marvin is an officer with Miami-Dade police and Venessa Flores is a dispatcher with Hialeah police.
After some convincing, the hardworking young couple finally, humbly, gave in to help from their brothers and sisters in uniform.
Among other things, they’ve created a GoFundMe page now circulating on social media and has already raised nearly $20,000.
Fellow officers also visit the couple and Alex at the hospital to help lift their spirits and show their support.
“You feel horrible and think ‘oh my god, if this happened to me I don’t know what I would do. I can’t imagine what Marvin’s going through,” said Sgt. Michael Triglia, officer Flores’ supervisor who was visiting Thursday.
“I don’t know how, right now he’s working three days a week and when he gets off on that third he comes straight to the hospital and he stays at the hospital for four and a half days straight caring for Alex,” Sgt. Triglia continued. “Then he goes home, showers and comes back to work. Those three days at work just, I don’t think I could do it. To go from house to house and answer calls and listen to other people’s problems. They don’t know what you’re going through.”
“We’re well prepared to go to crime scenes and tragedies and try to help everybody else. At the same time we’re also prepared to help a brother in need,” explained Lt. William Gonzalez, who was also visiting.
“It’s just overwhelming, all the support he’s getting it’s nice to know that the support everyone stands behind us it makes us stronger for him,” Alex’s mom, Venessa Flores, told Rapado.
The hope is that little Alex won’t need a bone marrow transplant, with the chemo working well enough on its own so he can beat cancer and live to see well beyond birthday number three.
Here is a link to Alex’s GoFundMe page if you’d like to donate and help with the family with its medical needs.