Meet this year's kids
Preston Heinlein, Age 18
In February 2008, Preston Heinlein of Virginia Beach noticed that one shoulder appear to be slumped. When he raised the issue with a doctor, an MRI showed something suspicious. A biopsy confirmed that Preston had a bone cancer called Ewing’s sarcoma.
Preston required a number of surgeries and then began treatment at CHKD that includes fourteen rounds of chemotherapy, many of which requires stays in the hospital.
Even though he lost his hair, suffered bouts of illness caused by chemotherapy, and missed high school rites-of-passage such as the prom, Preston felt embraced by CHKD’s nurses, social workers and doctors and now considers them friends.
Since his diagnosis, Preston had recorded much his treatment on YouTube, posted to a growing list of friends on Facebook and has spoken about cancer at events such as
Hyundai’s Hope on Wheels fund raiser for CHKD.
An outgoing, strong-willed person, always interested in music, languages and cultures, Preston feels as if his experience with cancer can help him teach fellow cancer patients the importance of hope, and show them how “stumbling blocks become stepping stones.”