Meet Benjamin.

Days after his seventh birthday, Benjamin was diagnosed with T-Cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and started 3½ years of treatment. His therapy began with nine months of intense intravenous chemotherapy and weekly clinic visits to monitor his cell counts. In September 2016, he moved to the “maintenance” phase of his treatment, which includes daily chemotherapy pills, weekly antibiotics and monthly clinic visits for intravenous chemotherapy.

At his children’s hospital, Benjamin received support from child life specialists to help him cope emotionally and manage his pain. He also participated in school services programs to continue his education while he was hospitalized. Support for both of these is made possible by funds raised through Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Benjamin loves all things sports-related. When one of his sports heroes—Chicago Cubs first baseman and cancer survivor Anthony Rizzo—visited the hospital, they formed an immediate bond. The Rizzo family’s support for Benjamin and his family inspired the Burke family’s annual lemonade stand, which raises money for the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation and supports work done at the Lurie Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders. After his stressful days in the hospital, Benjamin has happily rejoined his classmates at school and his teammates on the baseball field.

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