ASPIRE. In loving memory of Abraham Ibarra.
On April 26, 2016, Abraham woke up from a nap in class after hearing the school bell ring. Upon doing so, a friend of his noticed he had a lump on the right side of his neck. Abraham immediately felt it himself and was a bit frightened, so he went straight to the nurse’s office to get it checked out. After carefully examining him, the school nurse recommended that he seek medical attention. Abraham was picked up and taken to see a local doctor. There, the doctor assured us that the lump was nothing to worry about. However, an ultrasound was scheduled for three weeks later just to be on the safe side. This ultrasound indicated that he had a mass that needed to be removed. About two weeks later, Abraham underwent a surgical procedure to do exactly that. On June 1, 2016, we were called in to discuss results of the biopsy of this mass that was removed. Abraham was diagnosed with stage III Burkitt’s Lymphoma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer. He immediately underwent numerous rounds of intensive chemotherapy at a local hospital in Edinburg, Texas.
Three and a half months into his treatment, we were notified that Abraham was showing signs of relapse. The chemotherapy was not working. Upon hearing this news, we decided to take Abraham to get treated at the Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, Texas. Here, doctors devised a different course of treatment.. a new chemotherapy regimen. However, after only five days into his treatment, Abraham showed signs of relapse once again. The new chemotherapy regimen did not work. This bad news saddened us, but we believed that there was still hope.
At the beginning of the month of November we received notice that Abraham had been approved for a clinical trial that consisted of immunotherapy. This treatment went on for thirty days. On the thirtieth day of treatment, we were again given bad news. Abraham was not showing signs of progression. Doctors informed us that there was no longer any other treatment available for Abraham, so he was released and placed in palliative care.
In December Abraham was granted his wish by the Make-A-Wish-Foundation to visit New York City. He was able to spend one last Christmas surrounded by his loving family. On January 12, 2017, Abraham went home to be with our heavenly father… just six days short of his 17th birthday.
Before being diagnosed with cancer, Abraham enjoyed playing the game of basketball. He was a faithful fan of LeBron James. At some point in high school he lost his love for the game and decided to pursue bodybuilding. His passion for bodybuilding grew alongside his older brother Brandon whom he looked up to very much. They were always holding each other accountable, making sure that they stuck to their workout plan and strict diet.
A little bit before Abraham’s diagnosis, his brother convinced him to go back to playing the game he once loved so very much. Abraham decided that he would split his time between basketball and bodybuilding. During the time that he received chemotherapy in McAllen and Houston, Abraham did exactly that. Between rounds of chemo, he spent much of his time in the weight room and on the basketball court perfecting his crafts. He never saw his illness as a reason to not get better. He was always the hardest worker in any room. He continued to perfect his crafts until the very last day that his body allowed him to. His last workout at the gym took place on December 13, 2016, about a week before losing mobility to both his legs.
Despite the circumstances, Abraham found a way to live his life to the fullest. His heart was filled with determination. He fought relentlessly for his life each and every day, and never lost sight of his faith. Abraham put his trust in God, and was ALL in regardless of the outcome… Abraham ultimately ASPIRED to inspire.
ASPIRE was created to keep Abraham’s legacy alive. It was also created in hopes of building a scholarship fund for high school graduates with aspirations of attending college, as Abraham once had. Moreover, it was created to fulfill one of Abraham’s desires… to purchase Christmas gifts for pediatric oncology patients every year.
Thank you for taking the time to visit AspirebyAbraham.com, and thank you in advance for helping us keep Abraham’s legacy alive. God bless you!