February 26 will always hold a special place in our hearts. Seventeen years ago God blessed us all with a warrior. Happy 17th Birthday, Josh! 💙🎈🏈
While most 14-year old boys are preparing for the first day of high school, Josh Villarreal is preparing for the fight of his life. Josh is no stranger to cancer; he’s the football player on the field each year wearing pink socks and gloves in support of breast cancer awareness month. Little did Josh know that his world would be turned upside down when he was diagnosed with a rare form of colon cancer.
On July 30, 2014 Josh was admitted to Children's Hospital in Madera with severe stomach pain. A few days later he was told he had Ewing Sarcoma, a rare soft tissue cancer. The family was told that St. Jude Children Research Hospital was conducting a 9-month clinical trial that Josh could be part of the trial with most expenses paid.
On August 7, 2014, three days before he was supposed to travel to St. Jude Children Research Hospital, doctors performed an emergency surgery for a bowl obstruction. They were able to remove a portion of the tumor for more testing, which showed that Josh had been misdiagnosed, which meant he was no longer a candidate for the clinical trial. The doctors concluded that he had colon cancer which is very rare in children. This was of course, devastating for the family. As Josh prepared for the fight of his life, his father quit his job as a contractor so that he could be by Josh’s side as he tackled the toughest opponent of his life. His mother and little brother moved in with family so hat they could save money on living expenses.
Josh was transferred to Lucile Packard Children's Hospital in Stanford where he spent months receiving different chemo treatments. Unfortunately the tumor did not shrink and the cancer began spreading to other organs. They say God only gives his toughest battles to his strongest soldiers and we couldn't agree more. After several months of fighting so valiantly, on March 26, 2015, Josh won the ultimate victory.
The Villarreal family is extremely thankful to family, friends, and the community for the outpouring of love and support during this difficult time.
Please sign Josh's guest book and let us know you came to visit. We will remember Josh forever.