For the last few months, Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra and his family have apparently been going through a major challenge, one that is now hopefully done.
Spoelstra's wife, Nikki Sapp Spoelstra, announced Friday their son Santiago was diagnosed with Burkitt lymphoma, a serious, fast-growing form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, following an unexpected intestinal surgery the day after his fourth birthday.
The cancer required months of chemotherapy at Nicklaus Children's Hospital, but Sapp revealed Santiago's cancer had entered remission. She included a video of Santiago leaving the ward and preparing to ring the bell, signaling his treatment is over.
Sapp's full caption:
The day after his fourth birthday, our son went in for an unexpected surgery. Intussusception.
A mass was found. “Benign” I thought to myself. It has to be benign.
One week later, he was diagnosed with Burkitt Lymphoma. In the days, weeks, and months that followed… he endured (and thrived through) Chemotherapy.
He was… and continues to be.. so brave. He did not lose his joy. So many friends and loved ones made sure that none of us did.
Yesterday, our big boy got to ring the bell in the cancer wing at Nicklaus, and the gratitude I feel is overwhelming. REMISSION.
My family and I are incredibly grateful to his pediatricians, the surgeons, the doctors, the nurses, the whole Child Life Team, and all of the staff at Nicklaus who took care of our boy… but also, our family. There were many tears but these special individuals all made sure that there were plenty of smiles and all the love and support to go around. There really aren’t enough words. Simply… THANK YOU 🤍
One day, I want to open up about this more and create a necessary and meaningful dialogue around the subject of childhood cancer and what it has meant to me to be a parent in this situation.
For now, I am simply grateful.
Happy Friday. God is Good.
Spoelstra sat out a game in late March due to one of his children undergoing a medical procedure, but no details were included at the time.
The Spoelstras currently have two children, Santiago and his younger brother Dante, with a third child, a girl, currently on the way.