Cancer Patient and His Family Spread Holiday Cheer - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Cancer Patient and His Family Spread Holiday Cheer



    Cancer Patient and His Family Spread Holiday Cheer

    A cancer patient and his sister are getting through tough times with a good attitude and holiday cheer. (Published Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017)

    If you were on the cancer floor at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, chances are you talked to Juan Rivera or his sister, Diana Rivera.

    "Whatever I'm going through, we can still have the energy of the holiday," said Juan Rivera, who underwent a bone marrow transplant last month.

    His room is filled with Christmas decorations and holiday lights. The Riveras call it their home away from home.

    "They come in to do vitals," his sister said, talking about the nursing staff. "They're like, 'Oh, it's so festive!'"

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    Diana Rivera has taken the Christmas spirit out onto the floor. She learned to crochet while staying with her brother at the hospital and made hats for other cancer patients.

    "It's just, like, so addicting," Diana Rivera said. "I mean, it makes me feel really good to do that for the patients."

    "So they made a beanie for us. Pretty awesome, Cowboys colors," said cancer patient Jim Klinkhamer. "He's got an awesome attitude. That's what it takes when you're dealing with what we're dealing with."

    Not all medicine comes in a bottle.

    "We've had hard times," Diana Rivera said. "It's tough, but we never gave up."

    Rivera expects to go to temporary apartment housing on Friday to continue his care on an outpatient basis. He hopes their Christmas cheer helped other patients get through spending this time of year in the hospital.

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    "I want to be healthy," Juan Rivera said. "Put that underneath the Christmas tree."

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