KIDS WITH COURAGE: Haakyn Mohr
MAPLE GROVE, Minn. (KTTC) -- KTTC is honored to introduce viewers monthly to some of the youngest among us, facing the unthinkable with bravery and optimism. In our 20th “Kids With Courage” segment, Caitlin Alexander introduces us to 8.5-year-old Haakyn Mohr.
“I like to jump on my trampoline and ride my scooter and ride my bike and stuff,” Haakyn explained over Zoom.
It’s clear Haakyn is active. He’s the youngest of three boys.
He even says recess is his favorite part of school.
It makes sense he fought his cancer with the same ferocity and energy, even on days that involved, as he recalls, “pokes.”
“I didn’t really care, because I was just going to fight through it,” he said.
Haakyn’s mom, Tory, recalled it all began with him looking pale and a concerned comment from a friend.
“She said don’t take offense to this, but he actually kind of has a green undertone. And I looked at him and that was the first time I saw it,” she said.
Tory said she felt silly bringing him to the hospital for that reason, but she did anyway.
“Kind of demanded a belly x-ray just because I kind of felt like something was off and was going off my gut feeling,” Tory said.
What doctors found just confirmed her gut feeling was right.
“We learned he had a Wilms tumor growing off his kidney, and within 48 hours, we were scheduled for surgery where he had a volleyball-sized tumor along with his left kidney removed,” she said.
She told us the diagnosis was Stage 3 Wilms Tumor Kidney Cancer, requiring 28 weeks of chemo and 7 rounds of radiation.
Through it all, Haakyn stayed strong.
“Every day they go to the hospital, they’re asked to do hard things and they just do it,” she said, speaking of all children who face cancer.
The financial toll of having a child with cancer was another unexpected hardship, complicated further when Tory’s husband took a leave from work to help at home.
“I always said if something happens to him, we can never get these days back, like we just have to figure it out,” she said.
That’s where Minnesota-based Pinky Swear Foundation came in, providing financial and emotional support to families touched by childhood cancer.
It provided help with mortgage payments or gift cards, so the Mohrs could focus on their fighter.
Now that Haakyn is doing well, he is returning the favor, sharing his story for Pinky Swear’s “It Takes Two” campaign to help other families like his in the future.
“It only takes two seconds for a family’s life to be turned upside down by a childhood cancer diagnosis, it only takes two pinkies to make a pinky swear promise, and it only takes two dollars to make a difference,” said Pinky Swear Marketing Manager Jake Leif.
“They just always were there,” Tory said.
Pinky Swear is aiming to raise $75,000 by the end of May under this campaign.
There is a virtual soiree happening Saturday, April 30th.
If you know a Kid With Courage, email Caitlin at email@example.com.
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