David Persaud, 15
My name is David Persaud, I was diagnosed with Wilms Tumor in both my kidneys when I was 21 months old. In 2004, my parents were told that bilateral Wilms tumor was a rare form of childhood cancer. So rare that my parents remembered the doctor saying that he had not seen a case like mine in his thirty-something years of practice.
As part of my treatment for Wilms tumor, I received different types of chemotherapy, had my left kidney removed, part of my right kidney removed, and spent many months in the hospital. Throughout this whole process, my parents knew that just by looking at me, you would never know how sick I was and what my life would have to endure...
When I pray, I thank God for the wonderful doctors and nurses at Cohen Children’s Medical Center who took care of me, especially the surgeons who saved my life. I was told that Dr. Shende and the whole oncology team of doctors, nurses and nursing assistants helped my family so much while I went through the worst time of my family’s lives. In fact, the staff was so amazingly wonderful. Dr. Levitt and Dr. Reda were the surgeons that were able to save that quarter kidney that I have left, and performed a miracle . . . because of them I was able to live and play like a normal and healthy child. I was able to play baseball for 4 years which I LOVE, until my partial kidney started to shut down.
I remember Dr. Shende was very caring, and cool! I would like to see him again. A great memory I have being in the hospital is when Darryl Strawberry came to visit all the children.
Even though I have some challenges ahead, having been on dialysis since January 2016 and am awaiting a kidney transplant, I feel that having a positive attitude, laughter and lots of jokes, having faith, a supportive family and friends, is really important to get through these tough times.
I am grateful for my annual follow up appointments and the care from the Survivors Facing Forward team which helps us to be encouraged and to stay healthy and well. Today I am 15 years old and look forward to starting High School in September.