An Angel At Day Creek
September 26, 2018
Imagine being a four-time cancer survivor. That’s the life of Zein Y. In 2013, Zein was diagnosed with stage 4 Neuroblastoma, a type of cancer that affects nerve cells. Yet his optimistic character has allowed him to thrive, even after 45 surgeries.
Rod Carew, a pro baseball Hall of Fame inductee, has personally experienced a fight with cancer. His daughter, Michelle Carew, passed away from leukemia after fighting her own battle for seven months. Before her passing, Michelle asked her father to promise her that he would “always stay involved and try and help kids [with cancer].” Since then, Carew has involved himself with the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation. He regularly meets children with cancer and spends personal time with them.
“I met Rod Carew [three years ago] on a baseball field,” said Zein. Being a baseball fan, Zein and his family were given VIP tickets to an Angels game by the PCRF.
At the game, Zein, along with other kids, were called onto the field. While the children were being recognized, Rod Carew came onto the field. It was the first time that Zein’s cancer had gone into remission. Carew told Zein to “stay strong and fight on.”
For over three years, Rod Carew and Zein’s family have planned for Carew to visit Zein here at Day Creek Intermediate. On Friday, September 7, that dream finally came true.
Showing an ear-to-ear smile, Zein stood with Carew in front of his fellow sixth graders, as Carew gave an inspirational speech. Carew mentioned how he wanted to help kids fulfill their dreams and wishes.
“I’m gonna stay in the fight with pediatric cancer research so that all of you that have a dream will have the opportunity to fulfill those dreams,” Carew told the sixth graders.
In addition to talking about the PCRF and helping children fulfill their ambitions, he encouraged the audience to follow his example by persevering in life.
“Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you can’t do something. If you have faith in yourself that you can, and faith in yourself that you will; then you will be a success in whatever you do in life,” Carew said.
Rod Carew also stressed the importance of education among the crowd of DCIS students. Hoping that 6th graders would “look back one day and say ‘Jeez I remember Rod Carew saying that education is very important,’” and that “God gave me a brain to not let go to waste,” he took the time to encourage the young audience to take advantage of the opportunities at an early stage of life.
Through three additional diagnoses and further remissions, Zein and Carew have been connected and will continue to stay connected. Carew stated that he enjoys Zein’s smile, and Zein loves how Rod Carew is kind and generous.
“We are going to continue to be friends and I am going to continue to be in his corner,” Carew said.
“He is really kind, generous and very nice,” Zein said in response.
The relationship between Zein and Rod Carew continues to be unbreakable. The shared smile on their faces shows just how special this friendship is.