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Meet ASK Kid Caelan

ASK Kourageous Kid Caelan

ASK mom Jeongeun is no stranger to cancer. She’s a cancer survivor herself, so when her three-year-old son, Caelan, stopped running and complained of pain in his legs, instinct told her that something was wrong. Jeongeun took Caelan to the doctor for a routine checkup, but they said he was fine. Over the next six months and several more trips to the doctor, she got the same response. Thankfully, Jeongeun followed her gut and took Caelan to a different doctor who did a simple blood test that revealed the true cause of his illness: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

Jeongeun was diagnosed with breast cancer while pregnant with Caelan, so he was induced prematurely. “I had so much guilt over this, like I did something wrong in pregnancy and introduced this chaos into my child’s life,” remembers Jeongeun. “We were so cautious as I finished chemo and Covid exploded, and then Caelan was diagnosed. As everyone else was slowly coming out of the Covid bubble, we had to go back in. It was very difficult emotionally. Fortunately, we had the folks of the ASK Childhood Cancer Foundation to guide us through this new challenge in our lives.”

“Katie, ASK’s Child Life Specialist, visited Caelan’s hospital room in the early days of diagnosis and has never left our side,” Jeongeun explains. “In the beginning, Caelan was so scared to go to Clinic, but Katie worked hard to combat his anxiety and now he actually looks forward to going to Clinic. The psychological support from the counseling team has been vital to his health and to the emotional health of his older sister; she had a very difficult time with his diagnosis, but the team taught her how to cope with this challenging situation."

"ASK helps the entire family, and I think this is one of its distinguishing features from other cancer support organizations.” - ASK mom Jeongeun

ASK Kourageous Kid Caelan and his big sister

After initial intense chemotherapy, Caelan went into remission. Now five years old, he will continue a daily oral maintenance chemo and traditional chemo for another year – alongside his father, who is currently going through treatment for melanoma. Clinic visits will remain a part of their lives for years to come, but Caelan and his family will be supported by ASK forever. Throughout every upcoming grade in school, as he enters young adulthood, and eventually, as he starts his career, ASK will be there with the financial, educational and community resources, programs and support he needs to thrive.

“A childhood cancer diagnosis impacts the whole family,” Jeongeun continues. “Throughout this experience, Caelan has remained so happy, but I see the struggles he will face with his body and emotions and possibly learning.  We are so grateful to ASK for its continued support and the strength they provide us.”

ASK Kourageous Kid Caelan


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