Those with a serious disease will likely tell you it’s not always the condition that causes the most pain but instead missing out on the simple things in life. Not being able to attend events or travel, their lives instead revolve around regular hospital visits and doctors appointments. So when an opportunity to restore that sense of normalcy recently presented itself, one family was quick to seize the opportunity.
Three-year-old Adelaide Nguyen has a rare form of cancer, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, that impacts her immune system. Diagnosed just a few months ago on her birthday, the toddler has been kept from the public for her own health. Her mother Vanlam telling 11ALIVE the diagnosis was a shock to the entire family. “I haven’t seen this in a very long time. To any parent who hears a doctor say that, your heart just stops.” For the last seven months, all she’s known is hospital rooms and the Nguyen household.
It makes something as simple as grabbing a bite to eat at a local restaurant nearly impossible. On a recent trip home, the family passed by J. Wilson’s in Beaumont, Texas — one of Adelaide’s favorites. “She recognized the sign and from the backseat she said, ‘Daddy, can we go eat there?’”. Unfortunately, her mother knew that wouldn’t be an option. “The isolation is very hard, not just for the kid themselves but a lot of your family functions you do come to a halt,” Nguyen said.
A family friend heard the story and immediately reached out to the restaurant. The staff was more than happy to oblige. So on January 26th, General manager Paula Breaux opened up J. Wilson’s an hour early.
The staff even decorating the interior in Pink, Adelaide’s favorite color. The family, thankful for the special attention. The staff at J. Wilson’s thankful to have such a loyal following. “We’re here to take care of our customers,” Breaux said, adding “Just the fact that we got to be a part of this means a lot to us. Always makes me happy to see the little ones enjoy our restaurant.”
Although Adelaide will remain isolated, the Nguyen family says that the memory of this experience will help her be strong through her ongoing treatment.