Calvin Preston Velazquez, born Saturday June 10th 2006. Calvin entered this world fast, full of life and energy. A fun, loving and often mischievous little guy. Always so full of life and ready for an adventure. By the age one one his personality shinned, he was full off energy and never slowed down. By two and a half Calvin began pre-school and that's when his fascination for moving parts sparked. One of his favorite things was removing door handles from every doors in the house. He would go around the house, unscrew and remove every door knob and when he was done he'd go back and attempt to put them back together; he'd spend hours doing that.
Calvin loved cars, playing with any kind of balls and swimming, riding his bike, his scooter and shooting hoops; he was all boy! Calvin also had a beautiful soft side; he loved music, when listening to it he'd close his eyes and it seemed as though the melody reached his bones. He also had a green thumb, he took up gardening and planting anything he could get his hands on. Calvin loved puzzles, word search books and Disney movies. He also loved his dog Bailey; they practically grew up together. Their bond was evident and so awesome to experience.
Weeks shy of his seventh birthday both Calvin and and his mother stood in a doctor's office and heard the words no parent ever expect to hear: "Your child has cancer". Calvin was diagnosed with blood cancer (ALL). In one moment everything changed. Shortly after, Calvin’s treatment began and so did our new life. One full of appointments, tests, medications and countless procedures – a life that lasted eleven long months. After every chemo appointment, procedure and every hiccup; I was in awe as Calvin’s resiliency only grew.
Eventually treatment was not going as expected and Calvin needed a bone marrow transplant. During this process, he was the sickest he’d ever been. Still there was light at the end of the tunnel; as Calvin’s transplant was successful, he was in remission and the future looked bright. Finally, cancer would be a thing of the past.
In early March while playing catch, Calvin mentioned a discomfort on his chest. As usual, we headed to the hospital as a precautionary measure. By that evening though, Calvin was in ICU. Hours became days and Calvin’s body rapidly grew tired. Days turned into weeks and Calvin’s body only worsened. His lungs were severely damaged, nothing seemed to help and every hour brought unpleasant news. The days passed and Calvin was now attached to a breathing machine. Once more, the doctor sat me down. This time she sat in silence, until finally saying what no parent ever wants to hear. Words that would change me forever; “We have done everything we can do for your son and there is nothing else that can be done.” Calvin’s lungs had been severely damaged beyond repair. His body was now deteriorating and as the hours passed his departure was inevitable. I was given the option to keep him until his body could resist no more or I could let him go.
As a mother I believe we do what is best for our children at every given moment. As heartbreaking and painful as this was, I knew it could be no different. Calvin had already endured and suffered long enough. I knew keeping him was for me and letting him go was for him. On the evening of March 24, 2014, I held Calvin in my arms as he took his last breath. Calvin now lives in everything that we do. He live-in the smiles we share and in the beautiful way life continues to bless our paths.
The Calvin Preston Foundation was founded by Mary; Calvin's mother to honor her son's life, his presence; further proving that loss has a way of lifting and inspiring others. Thanks to Calvin and his life, many children and families can find comfort, knowing they are not alone.