PRAIRIE CITY, Iowa –Like others kids across Iowa, Moses Avalos is starting kindergarten. But his struggle to get to the first day of class is more than most adults can imagine. He just finished going through treatments for leukemia. Moses also has down syndrome and autism.
However, It’s a very exciting time for Moses Avalos. “It’s so fun to see him thriving and he rolls that walker around here like a boss,” said Mom Libby Avalos.
He just started kindergarten at Prairie City Elementary. “He has a team at school that just goes above and beyond to help he him, and serve him, and celebrate him,” she said.
It’s been a long road for Moses to get here. “He was diagnosed with Down syndrome at eight months of age. He was really healthy his first two years of life, we were really blessed, and then at two and a half years old in July of 2016, he was diagnosed with ALL, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.”
Children with Down syndrome have an increased risk of leukemia. “It was a shock and it wasn’t. God helped us with that. And, I knew right away that he wasn`t going to die of leukemia. We just had that peace walking into treatment, but the hard part was knowing the next two and a half years he was going to be getting chemo and just all the pain and suffering that goes along with that treatment.”
Moses spent two months at Blank Children’s Hospital after he was diagnosed. “He wasn’t as strong with his immune system and the chemo hit him really hard. He stopped crawling, he stopped sitting, basically he was lying in bed every day,” said Avalos.
He also has autism. Being non-verbal made it even more difficult for his parents to know how to help. “He is the strongest child I know. Talk about being thrown curve balls, you know.”
“He seems to always bring out the best in people, I’ve found,” added Avalos.