Cancer nurse helps 3-year-old fight Leukemia

(KTVB-TV) 3-year-old Kean Barker is battling leukemia at St Luke’s Children’s Hospital in Boise. Kean also has Down Syndrome, but he’s a fighter.

His mom Lonnie Leavitt-Barker says a nurse at St. Luke’s is making the experience much more bearable for her son. So, She nominated nurse Joe Ronquillo as a 7’s Hero.

Kean’s mom describes what it was like when her son was diagnosed with A.L.L. — childhood leukemia: “You know when your kids get sick and you think the worst? It was the worst,” Leavitt-Barker told KTVB.

Leavitt-Baker says Kean has really bonded with Ronquillo, adding “I don’t know where we’d be without the the nurses and the doctors here. We fell in love with Joe.”

Leavitt-Baker also says she feels Joe Ronquillo is great with kids, and that he was “born to be a nurse.”

My son adores him because he comes in and makes it fun,” Leavitt-Baker said. “He makes him happy and that makes mom happy!”

Ronquillo came on board at St. Luke’s seven years ago. For him, taking excellent care of patients is ‘all in the family.’ That’s because his older brother is a nurse, and his two sisters are respiratory therapists.

Ronquillo has a special, family connection to cancer patients too.

“My mom is a cancer survivor; we spent a lot of time in the hospital growing up,” Ronquillo explains. “We saw her go through chemo, lose her hair. It just made sense for all of us, that’s why we’re here.”

Ronquillo’s mother has also been a part of young Kean’s story.

That’s because she helped cut the 3-year-old boy’s hair while he was in the hospital.

“He told me what he was going through, and I said ‘okay, I will come down there,'” said Sarah Ronquillo, Joe’s mom. “They need a lot of support, so I came over.”

The gesture meant a lot to Kean’s mom.

As a mom, you are watching your child go through unbelievable amounts of pain,” Leavitt-Barker said. “You’d trade places with him at any second.” She added, “To see someone love your son, and love him back, it just makes this whole process so much easier.”

Joe Ronquillo and his mom, along with all the doctors and nurses dedicated to helping Kean Barker fight cancer — you are this week’s 7’s heroes.