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Adam Fofana
There's a spot next to grandma in the kitchen waiting for Adam Fofofa, who is fighting leukemia. The 12-year-old is in Albuquerque fighting cancer alongside his mother while his grandparents patiently wait for their return.

In Sept. 2012, Fofana was diagnosed with blood cancer. He has been in remission since Oct. 2012, but the fight continues as he is prescribed new medicines and more lengthy chemotherapy sessions. To recognize and support his fight, he was selected as a Cancer Warrior for this year's Cancer Support of Deming-Luna County Celebration of Life Walk. The walk is scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday at Voiers' Park in Deming. Registration is at 8 a.m. and this is the eighth annual event to raise money for cancer patients in Deming and Luna County.

"When he first came down with this, we didn't pull any punches with him," Elisa Jackson, his grandmother, said. "We let know him know it's a serious disease and he could die."

Before the diagnosis, Fofana was already a smart kid; when he was not seating customers or helping prepare food at Elisa's House of Pies, the grandparents' restaurant, you could find him with his head buried in books or typing away on a computer. But fighting cancer has strengthened his resolve and drive in life, his grandparents say, and thanks to flexibility by Deming Public Schools to teach him at home, or send him assignments electronically, he keeps learning and pushing toward his goals.

"He pretty much is a mathematician," Mrs. Jackson proudly said.


"He has decided to become a doctor to help other kids with cancer."

He has become quite knowledgeable of his medicine and treatment, often saying when it's time for a pill, or using the proper medical terminology to discuss his condition with doctors and staff.

"He has become basically his own little doctor," Mrs. Jackson quipped.

His fascination with medicine actually began when his grandfather, Curtis Jackson, had his own medical issues.

"He used to always say, 'If grandpa can do it, I can do it,' when I used to be in the hospital," he said.

Those close family ties and support are credited as part of everyone is able to stay strong and persevere through the treatment. With the help of family, faith and, of course, medicine, Fofana's stage 3 cancer has been in remission since late 2012.

"Adam can see he's stayed 4 feet 4 (inches) for most of his life," Mrs. Jackson described. "Now he's 4' 6", so it's giving him more encouragement. He's getting taller now and he's gained weight."

The most important component of his family support, Mrs. Jackson says, is the bond between Fofana and his mother, LaDonna. Mrs. Jackson described their relationship as one beyond the typical mother-son bond, saying they are best friends who are constantly together in the fight.

"His mother is his strength," Mrs. Jackson said. "She knows how sad she would be if he wasn't around."

Because worrying about medical bills and medicine their insurance won't cover should be the last of LaDonna's worries, Mrs. Jackson wished to remind locals about Fofana's bank account at 1st New Mexico Bank for donations. The tellers have his account number taped to their desks, she said, and the bank has been very helpful with the cause.

Now, young Fofana is in the midst of a new treatment regime consisting of 12 straight hour chemotherapy sessions, shots throughout the day, lots of pills and plenty of water.

"I was very scared at first, but when my mom and grandma reassured me that there is a way the doctor can make my Cancer fall asleep, but it involves taking medicine by mouth and sometimes with shots," Fofana wrote. "They also told me I need to push my myself to get better even when I do not feel like taking the medicine. I need to tell myself I can do it."

Matt Robinson can be reached at