JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Chandler Mendez has spent most of the last four months in the intensive care unit at Wolfson Children's Hospital.
The 16-year-old's mother, Melissa Mendez, said the family is waiting to find out if his body will accept a stem cell transplant he received a couple weeks ago.
"It's very rapidly spreading and aggressive and they said had we waited another week, he would have already passed away," she said.
His mother said Mendez has always been an active kid and has never had health issues. She recalled one day in April, her son started to complain of sore muscles and had the sniffles.
"What you would contribute to the common cold," she said about the symptoms.
She said doctors initially thought the pain was caused from a growth spurt, but blood tests showed it was leukemia.
The young patient has undergone four rounds of chemotherapy.
"It's hard, because you're at a point when you want to help him, but you can't and it's hard not being able to do something," said the teen's mom.
The family's church is holding a benefit Saturday at Shiloh Gospel Barn, just outside of Green Cove Springs. It will run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
An account has also been set up where people can donate blood to the teen:
- The Blood Alliance 0024 898039602775
First Coast News