The Ramos Family
Vivian Ramos was a happy three-year-old girl when, one day in January 2018, she fell at home and started throwing up. Concerned, her parents Alfred and Lauren took her to the hospital, where they learned what no parent wants to hear: Vivian had brain cancer.
She was immediately transferred to Kaiser in Santa Clara where she was quickly sent into surgery to remove the tumor. “We didn’t know what to do,” says Alfred, “it was a gut-wrenching, horrible, dark time for us.” After the surgery, they were emotionally drained but happy that things seemed to be looking up for their daughter.
However, just a month later, they learned that Vivian would need a second surgery, one that resulted in dangerous complications and a very long journey ahead.
After the second surgery, Vivian wasn’t able to speak or move as she usually could and required extensive physical therapy. There were no showers, privacy, or quiet places in the PICU, but the thought of returning home and being away from Vivian was unbearable.
Luckily, nurses connected the Ramos family with JW House, a place where they could rest, shower, and eat a homemade meal, all while being just steps away from Vivian. “We were able to meet parents in similar situations, have our own parents come and visit, and feel like we weren’t alone,” says Alfred.
“Most importantly, we had a space to clear our minds and research treatments so we could make responsible decisions for our daughter.”
As for the Most Wonderful News of the Year… Vivian just hit a milestone with her recovery, and she passed a critical threshold making cancer recurrence a very low probability. She is a happy and strong first grader who even learned to ride a bike.
“Hitting this milestone has been a huge weight off our shoulders and it made us think about everyone who was by our side during the worst part of her illness. We will never forget that during those difficult days, JW House was our home away from home.”