LINDSEY, Okla. (KFOR) – What does it take to have a “brave heart?” Lindsey, Oklahoma, 4-year old Kaleb Largent has his own ideas about that question.
He likes to shake a plastic cup with a small medical device inside. That device is known as a port, and this particular port was once implanted in Kaleb’s chest in order for him to receive chemotherapy infusions.
He likes to call the port in his cup his “brave heart” and it’s a reminder to his entire family of Kaleb’s incredible medical journey.
“Kaleb is so much fun,” says his mother, Kristan Largent, “He’s just a blast. He’ll come up to me at random and say, ‘I love you, you’re my best friend. I love you so much.'”
Kristan is forced to soak up that attention on the go. This busy mother has four children, including another son with cerebral palsy.
She noticed back in mid 2021 that Kaleb, who was three at the time, often complained of a queasy stomach.
One day, those complaints took a sharp turn for the worse.
“He started turning greenish, so I took him to the hospital in Lindsay,” she recalls. “They said he had an unknown mass in his abdomen, so they sent us to OU Children’s Hospital. Within 10 minutes of being there, they told us he had kidney cancer.”
The diagnosis was Wilm’s Tumor, which is a pediatric form of kidney cancer.
Kristan says, “When they found the tumor, it was the size of a volleyball with the top caved in, because it had already burst inside his belly.”
Surgery and radiation treatments followed.
Kaleb also received chemotherapy for months through that surgically implanted port, which stuck out on his tiny chest.
Kristan smiles when she recalls, “When they put the port in, his nurse actually had a port too, and said she used to call it her brave heart when she was little. So we picked that up and that’s what he called it ever since.”
Being brave was much easier, surrounded by the support if Kaleb’s medical team at Jimmy Everest Cancer Center.
Kristan says, “They are always really good to him. They treated him like family. They’re always happy to see him.”
Kaleb is now 4 years old, growing and still enjoying a busy life with his four siblings.
He has just one kidney, but that should not slow him down now that he’s cancer free.
His ordeal with cancer was difficult for everyone, but in some ways it brought everyone closer together.
“It’s really impacted our faith” says Kristan, “There is so much more hope and trust and faith in God.”
If you’d like to help kids like Kaleb fight cancer, consider donating to JECFriends.