Meet Chico Santiago
Chico Santiago has been a members of our nation’s Navy for 23 including several tours in the middle east. On July of 2004 Chico got the terrible news his 4 year old son, Diego Santiago had a condition called Wilms tumor, a rare kidney cancer that primarily affects children. Also known as nephroblastoma, it’s the most common malignant tumor of the kidneys in children. The peak time of Wilms’ tumor occurrence is at age 3 and it occurs only rarely after age 8.
Initially the family was told that with mild chemo and radiation treatments Diego would be okay, but by November of 2004 the treatments were not working and the family was told Diego only had 6 months to live. Chico was devastated. They tried hard to find Diego some experimental treatment, but nothing seem to work. After 7 hospitals, 22 doctors, $956,000 dollars in medical bills and many many chemo and radiation treatments, nothing could stop Diego’s cancer. They then concentrated their efforts on giving diego his last wishes.
His wish was to be a Navy chief petty officer, like his father. The US Navy, with permission from Congress, allowed Diego Santiago to be in the history books as the youngest chief petty officer in the Navy. His ceremony was a large event. His dream had come true.
On August 2, 2006, five days after his 6th birthday. Diego Enrique Santiago passed away at home in his parents arms. After a long 3 1/2 years of missing his son and a long deployment to Iraq, Chico decided to do something about this terrible illness and started In The Cage 4 Cancer, a non-profit organization aimed at raising awareness and contributions to fight cancer. As a veteran, Chico qualifies to be a Ranger Up sponsored fighter, so we’re throwing out weight behind him and supporting his octagon dreams.
Please check out Chico’s site at www.Inthecage4cancer.com and donate if you can.