Destiny Gonzalez's Fight Against Cancer

Last month, our family was hit with devastating news. Our 16-year old cousin, Destiny, was diagnosed with Parosteal Osteosarcoma, a rare form of cancer that grows in the bones. One day after cheer tryouts, Destiny began complaining of a sore, stiff knee. Her mother, Tiffany, took her to doctor to have it checked out. No one was prepared for news that would follow. Destiny had a massive tumor growing around her knee and would need to have it removed immediately.

After several trips to the doctors and countless procedures later, it looked like Destiny's cancer was slow-spreading and would be resolved with the removal of the tumor. So one week before her 16th birthday, Destiny had the tumor removed, her knee replaced, and a 16 cm metal rod inserted into her femur. 

A week later, Destiny celebrated her sweet 16th birthday in a way that no child should ever have to. But she took it like a champ (look how adorable she is in her photo!) and remained in good spirits. 

Then came the next blow.....

After performing a biopsy on the tumor removed from her leg, it was determined that sprinkled throughout was a highly aggressive form of osteosarcoma, one that possessed the ability to spread throughout her body. Barely a week out of the hospital, Destiny was told there's a possibility the cancer had spread and in order to keep her safe, she would have to undergo a year of chemo treatment. 

While chemo is NEVER an easy thing to go through, Destiny will be required to stay in the hospital for at LEAST 3 days EVERY TIME she has treatment. Sometimes it will be separated by a couple of weeks, and sometimes it will be back-to-back. 

Destiny has been through so much in her short life. Two years ago, her father, Mike, was killed in a tragic motorcycle accident. Destiny lives with her mother and 3 siblings. This new reality is already taking a toll on their family as Tiffany, Destiny's mom, is trying to juggle caring for an ill child while also taking care of the needs of her other three children (Jordan, 9; Jaxen, 7; and Trinity, 5). And all of this in the middle of COVID-19. 

The next year is going to be really rough for the family as they navigate Destiny's treatment and ensure that the other kiddos are taken care of. 

I am hoping that Tiff and Destiny's friends and family can come together to support them during this difficult time. No amount is too small and it will go towards making their lives a little bit easier as they go through something that no child or parent should ever have to experience. 

Thank you all for taking the time to read this and please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. 

- Lisa Lemke (Destiny and Tiffany's cousin)

Organizer and beneficiary

Lisa Lemke
Gilroy, CA
Tiffany Gonzalez

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