Special Thanks to Lambda Phi Epsilon
Cammy Lee Leukemia Foundation, Inc.
Home arrow Our Bravest arrow In Memory arrow Anderson Nguyen

Board of Directors:

James Chang
Kevin Ching M.D.
Sharon Lau
Stella Lee Leong

Anderson Nguyen

Anderson Nguyen

Diagnosed: AML, December 2002
Ethnicity: Vietnamese
Location: Malden, MA

Website: http://www.andersonsrace.com/

Anderson was diagnosed with AML at the age of 11. A miracle marrow match was found, and this little boy underwent a transplant. However, he suffered from complications afterwards that was not a result of the leukemia. Sadly, Anderson passed away in August of 2003. He will be remembered as a kind-hearted, thoughtful boy who loved to help people.

Below is a testimony by Anderson's mom, Victoria Nguyen. It was written for a race called Anderson's Race Against Leukemia. All proceeds of the race went to charitable foundations. Please visit the link above for their official website.

"Thank you for your interest in being a part of Anderson's Race Against Leukemia. My name is Victoria Nguyen and I would like to tell you a little bit about my son Anderson Nguyen, for whom this race is being held in memory of.

Anderson Nguyen

Even after being diagnosed with AML leukemia, Anderson was still the same thoughtful and strong boy we all knew and loved. Anderson was a homebody, a compassionate and considerate little boy who loved his family and friends very much. Being the curious one that he was, he had a passion for learning and never stopped asking questions. He liked to help people and would often be found helping out his fellow classmates after completing his own assignments. Sometimes he was quiet, but most of the time, he was laughing with his favorite "brother" (cousin) and sisters. He loved to make jokes. I was often one of his victims. I miss hearing his hearty giggle and playful laugh whenever he teased me. However, as playful as he was, Anderson was always thinking. In school, he even earned the award for Most Wise Student in his class.

School, was one of his most beloved places. As ill as he was, he still longed to be at school. He even had a book entitled All the Things a 6th Grader Should Know, so that he wouldn't fall behind when he got back to school. Due to the side effects of his illness and the chemotherapy treatment, Anderson had to stay at the hospital day and night. He loved to read but couldn't read as much as he used to, since looking down at words would make him nauseous. Therefore, foran 11-year old boy, what else was there to do but play video games and battle YuGi-Oh cards with your neighbors? He told me, "It's hard staying at the hospital for so long. You forget what the weather is like and whether it's light or dark out, days getting longer. I want to play games to forget today and tomorrow." Unfortunately, borrowing the television set and games on their floor was not the easiest of tasks. There were plenty of other children who, just like Anderson, needed the video games to take their minds off of the pains of their illnesses and to pass the long, lonely hours of a patient's day. Anderson had made a decision one day -- one that he would make sure to remind me about constantly. "Ma, when I can go home and not have to come back here for long visits, can you take my money and buy a new T.V. set and video game system for the Children's Hopsital?" He understood the complications of borrowing the game system on Level 7 and wanted others to be able to pass the time more easily. He never stopped thinking of others.

He was one of the most caring people I ever knew. Once, while we were driving home from the Children's Hospital, Anderson suddenly asked me to quickly hand him a dollar. Stunned by his question, I told him "What do you need a dollar for? I'll buy you whatever you want." In response Anderson told me that the money was not for him. He had instead intended on giving it to "that man that was asking for money", a beggar whom we had just passed. I told Anderson that maybe next time we could give him change since we already passed him that time. "If I had my wallet right now, I'd give money to whoever asked for it," Anderson said, "In fact, if I were rich, I'd give money to everyone." Anderon's younger sister Michelle commented, "Remember, you've got to take care of yourself before you can think of others." In thinking of others before himself (as he often did), Anderson told us, "Oh yeah. I forgot I was sick." Then he became quiet and made that face that he always made whenever he was deep in thought.

My son had many dreams, one of which was to reside in Hawaii and another to be free. To Anderson, one of the most important liberties to a person was his freedom. With the freedom to make his own choices and live his life the way he wanted to, Anderson hope to become a scientist so that he could help develop cures. Meanwhile, he'd still have the freedom to fulfill his passion for traveling the world. I truly hope that my son is now free, that he has finally found the freedom that he longed for -- freedom from pain and worries and the freedom to do as he pleases. The days before his death were the most painful days of his life -- and mine as well. He was insufficient in his nutrition because he had difficulty eating and had terrible stomach pains towards the last of his days and so, we had to go to the hospital for that last time to check his intestines. Anderson saw me flooding in tears when I saw his state and he took his beautiful hand, reached up to my face, and wiped the tears from my eyes. "Don't cry, Ma. You need more sleep. There are so many bags under your eyes." From before he was sick even to when he was in his most painful, nauseous, and weak state himself, Anderson always put others before himself.

This race is not only being held in memory of Anderson Nguyen, it is being held in hopes of helping other children around the world. Thanks to the amazing medication my son was able to receive during treatment, along with the unending dedication of the doctors and nurses, Anderson was relieved of the pain that many other children around the world with inadequate medicine would have to endure. Because of the support of his family, teachers, and peers, Anderson was able to face each day in the most optimistic light he could. Of course, there were days when he would ask me those heartbreaking and unanswerable questions of "Why me? What did I do that God had to make me sick like this?" Though we all know that these children had done nothing wrong to suffer like they do, they could certainly use our help in letting them know that. Although Anderson was never able to fulfill his dreams of moving to Hawaii, becoming a scientist and developing medicines to cure the sick, or even coming back to school to face the 6th grade, there are many other children just like Anderson who will hopefully, one day, be able to fulfill their dreams. There are many other caring children with lives to live, families and friends, passions and dreams to return to. I want to take the time to thank you for your support in making this race possible to provide sick children the medicine they deserve, the love and support during the times he or she needs it most, and the hope to awake to face a better day."

-Victoria Nguyen

 

 
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