It’s been almost 20 years since I left Vegas for the military, but I try to make it back for a visit at least every other year. Aside from the fact that I still have family there, I really have grown to love the vibe over the years. It’s unlike any place I’ve ever been, and I have lived quite a few different places since I set out on my own path. The reality is that no place ever feels like the place you first called home. This trip was particularly special though because I got to spend most it laughing, reminiscing, and making (and capturing) new memories with my dear friend, who I’ve known for 27-plus years, and her son, who I am proud to call my nephew.
On the outside, Steven S. may look, sound, and act like any other guy his age, but anyone who knows him will tell you he truly is a uniquely amazing human being. With the love and support of his mom and his step dad, he has worked exceptionally hard the past 17 years to develop into the kind, talented, funny and smart young man he is today. The hard work started early on in his life when he was diagnosed with Leukemia at the age of three. After seven years of countless doctor visits, hospital stays, chemo treatments and prayers, Steven’s cancer thankfully went into remission, and he was given a clean bill of health.
Although he successfully won his battle against cancer, the road to recovery continued as Steven went through years of tutoring and mentoring to help him overcome his learning difficulties - a result of the cancer treatment that many people are unaware (see Las Vegas Review Journal article for more details). Even as he has grown older and remained cancer free, Steven and his mom have never forgotten the love and support they received from organizations like the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation when Steven was battling cancer, and they both regularly give back to other families who are making the same difficult journey by participating in NCCF events like Camp Cartwheel.
When he is not spending time with other affected families and raising awareness about childhood cancer, Steven is busy working on his skills as an award winning artist, expert marksman, and computer whiz as well as planning for his college education in the fields of art and/or engineering.