Drake’s Story – UC Davis Children’s Hospital

Existing between two beautiful rivers, and beneath a spectacular canopy of trees, lies the capital of California, Sacramento: the indomitable city. Through unfathomable odds, it has been the people of Sacramento that are, and have always been, indomitable. It just takes the bravery and courage of
one person to unite the many and inspire their greatness. This is the story of one such person. A brave boy, focused and determined. A boy with unconquerable will. One boy. One team. One hospital. And how chance brought them together to inspire greatness and help realize a boy’s dream. Drake’s a kid that um, he loves sports and he just had made a competitive soccer team. He came home and said, “You know, Mom, my my leg or my ankle hurts. Something is hurting. I don’t really know what it is.” And Drake’s not really a complainer. It started waking him up at night, the pain. We took him to his pediatrician on a
Monday morning and he said, “This leg is really hot. I think there’s something not good going on here. I’m gonna do some preliminary tests, but I need you guys to go down to UC Davis right away.” It was just a very fearful time, you know, it was one of those things where we didn’t have a lot of answers and we can tell by the way that
they were moving things along, and took it serious, that hey, this is something that
is not your normal ankle sprain, you know. He had an infection of his bone, which we
call osteomyelitis. Our specialists, our radiologists, were all able to make the diagnosis and start treatment right away. I don’t know if any parent that has to
watch their kids go into surgery could ever go in it calm and collected. I know that, you know, there was a lot of time that we were staring at each other going, “Oh my God,
what’s going on?” It feels like a ball of strings unraveling right before your eyes. UC Davis works really hard to make this
a comfortable, fun place, as much as it can be. So we have a lot of different
specialties working hand-in-hand to take care of kids here. They all really work together and they really shared with us, they didn’t keep anything from us. And that’s the thing about medicine I think that is really cool, is that, you’re privileged to be part of – an intimate part – of someone’s life And, you know, Drake and his family were really kind to me and let me be a part of that. They treated us like we are family while
there. They knew that it was a big thing for our family and they really treated
us well, so I think that that will stay with me. One of their first questions was, “Is he gonna be able to play soccer again?” I think that was, for Drake, was the most important thing. I just wanted to get through it as fast as possible, to get back to playing soccer. I think he was confused, I think he just wasn’t quite sure and he immediately went to “What do you mean? I have to get to practice Monday,” you know? He was scared. And he immediately lost the being scared part with talking about soccer, and became very animated about soccer. He clearly liked soccer and that was his passion. I came out of surgery and saw a note that said, “West Brom and Sacramento Republic players visiting.” The first time I met Drake and his family, I
walked into the room and the Sac Republic team was walking out. And he had a huge smile on his face. Real soccer players coming to visit a child in the hospital, who is recouping, who loves soccer, but never really thought of maybe making it big or playing professionally, I think, you know, the wheels started turning. For us to have the opportunity to kind of give back in a way where we can go into these hospitals and, you know, even if we just brighten the kid’s day for that five minutes we’re there you know, it’s it’s a big thing
for us, and it’s something we look forward to doing. You know, that sort of gave him something to look forward to, knowing that at the end of this, he would be able to get back to
what he loves to do. For him to have that desire to get back and to do the rehab and go through all of that, you know it shows how strong of a person that Drake is. As we started rehabbing him slowly, you know, we kind of had a goal in mind, hey let’s see. We’ve always told them there’s bigger things in life than soccer, but if that’s what you want to do, you know, set your goal and work towards it. And that’s kind of what he did. When he walked on that field that night, Justin Braun walked right up to him and said, “Hey are you Drake?” To have the opportunity to walk out on the field with Drake was an honor. You know, he’s come such a long way, to his credit, he’s real strong, he was real brave through the whole thing and he left his parents and held the hand of a player and went out in the field all on his own. You know, it’s just really, really neat. It’s huge, especially for families with kids that are going through things like that to have a hospital that they know they can count on, they know they can, you know, when they show up, they’re going to have the best care that’s available to their children. And that’s something that I think is big. Big for these people and it’s big for the city to know it’s
there. UC Davis setting up things like that
where they can come and visit the children, you know whether or not
you’re a soccer fan I think is still special, but for Drake, it really hit home with him,
it really sparked something. It was one of those things that was like a catalyst to say “Hey, sometimes bad things happen, but sometimes great things happen because of it.” I don’t think we would have felt this comfortable anywhere else. And I talk to people all the time about UC Davis and how it’s really one of a kind. They made a big difference in our lives and we’ll always be thankful for that.

12 thoughts on “Drake’s Story – UC Davis Children’s Hospital

  1. I wrote a book based on my fight with cancer during my first year of chemotherapy. It is a story about a 12-year-old boy that is diagnosed with Stage Four Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma. (His cancer is similar to the cancer I had.)
    The boy learns how to use his imagination to help fight his cancer while receiving chemo, and teaches other children how to do the same.


  2. Recently I’ve had osteomyelitis and this video is exactly how I felt how I acted when I had it and I rlly like I have someone to relate to about it

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