His first reaction was this; “A rare cancer? That makes me feel special.”
From the beginning of the journey, he carries his sense of humor, the power of passion and perseverance to every challenge he faces. He inspires people, makes friends with everyone he meets in the medical facilities, encourages others such as patients, family, me and you.
One year ago, on May 26th, 2017 Mason Saldaña was diagnosed with a very rare form of cancer, Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumor (DSRCT). Sarcoma cancers account for about 1% of all cancers. This specific sarcoma was first documented in 1989, and so far approximately 200 cases have been described in medical literature. He chose to be a part of a clinical trial in Santa Monica, CA with an esteemed expert in this type of cancer. He underwent chemotherapy for 8 rounds before he could have surgery to remove the tumors.
On January 11th, 2018 he underwent a 13 hour surgery to remove 2 large tumors around 11cm in length along with any additional tumors as well. He is still recovering from the surgery because they actually removed a surprising total of 177 tumors. A week after leaving the hospital, Mason moved back to Houston, TX at MD Anderson Hospital for the whole month of February into March for his entire torso to be radiated with photon beams in pursuit of clearing out any microscopic tumors cells left in him. Unfortunately, radiation is not an option anymore because his body has maxed out his limit and has damaged his other organs far enough.
Today he continues with chemotherapy and hopefully the healthier alternative, immunotherapy, which has to be donated to him by the immunotherapy company due to his lack of sufficient funding. He battles not only the physical pain but emotional toll it has had on him. But the last thing this incredible young man wants is pity. He has been the most inspirational fighter and optimist throughout this journey.
Student of the Year Award
Just before he was diagnosed, on May 6th, 2017 he graduated with his Master's degree in Safety Science from the prestigious Embry-Riddle Aeronautic University in Arizona. Mason Saldaña was the honored recipient of the Arizona Chapter of American Society of Safety Engineers for the Inaugural Student of the Year Award on Friday June 02, 2017. This award is in recognition of his continual hard work, leadership and dedication to the chapter throughout the past year. Unfortunately, he was hospitalized at this time and was not able to attend the ceremony to receive this award in person.
Mr. & Mrs. Saldaña
Mason is a young man, who has been fighting this cancer with a huge smile on his face and passion for life in his heart. He fell in love with a beautiful, smart and supportive woman named Pei-Wen Chen, during his masters program. They never let the cancer interfere with their love story and they got married on August 26th, 2017.
This man’s life has just begun and we don’t want something like a little cancer to get in the way of that. He aspires to work in the motion picture industry as a Safety Director because of his love to keep everyone safe and happy and as well as his passion for the films and of all of the work put into making those productions.
His GoFund me Page has raised $50,620.00 this past year, but most of the money has been spent. We need to continue raising money to support his medical bills and living expenses. If you have been impacted by Mason's story and would like to help him out financially; you may support him directly through PayPal or, by participating in our upcoming fundraisers.