Honored Patients

2016 Honorees - Our Inspiration

 Ariana Avalon LTN EB HH

Ariana Avalos

East Bay Honored Hero

Ariana was diagnosed with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia in February 2015, when she was only three years old.  What was first thought to be a bad case of the flu quickly became a series of hospitalizations, chemotherapy treatments, and isolation from her friends and classmates.

Today, this outgoing, inquisitive, and caring girl is in the maintenance phase of her treatment and excited to be back in preschool.  She loves watching ? and making ? YouTube unwrapping videos, coloring, building with legos, and most of all, singing and dancing to her favorite songs! Despite a challenging year, Ariana has fought her cancer with a smile on her face.  Her spirit and resilience are truly an inspiration to us all!

Aryan P. at Chemo

Aryan Prasad

San Francisco Honored Hero

Aryan was diagnosed in June 2013 with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, right before his fifth birthday. He is now a healthy eight-year-old in remission from ALL. His favorite food types are Indian, Hawaiian and cheese pizza. His favorite color is turquoise, and he enjoys arts and crafts, playing in the park, and watching movies. In his spare time, Aryan loves spending time with his grandparents and hanging out with his cousin, Eshan. Aryan just started second grade in the Septemember of this year. He also just finished his LAST round of chemo!

We are delighted to have Aryan as our 2016 Honored Hero and look forward to celebrating this amazing, courageous boy!

Dylan Day 2016

Dylan Day

North Bay Honored Hero

Dylan was three and a half years old when he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) and began treatment. He unfortunately did not react well to the initial induction treatment, so he participated in a study that doubled the length of the intensification phase of his treatment and he spent three and a half years trying to beat ALL. During that time Dylan was in so much pain that he eventually stopped walking. Thankfully, the innovative study worked and now Dylan is cancer free.

Today, it has been ten years since Dylan was diagnosed and he is a healthy, active 6 foot tall (and still growing!) 13 year old who loves baseball, basketball and eating. Soon he will graduate from Santa Rosa Middle School and be moving on as a freshman to Santa Rosa High School.

Dylan and his family have been active with many nonprofits that help local families battling cancer and he is always willing to step up whenever he can to help someone else. His personal motto is Today is the best day ever, which he would even say during treatment. Dylan believes that no matter what, every day is a new opportunity and no one should take a single day for granted.

Marlon Valentine 2016

Marlon Valentine

Napa Valley Honored Hero

Diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) when he was under two years old, Marlon went through treatment for over two years before he reached remission at the age of 4. In October of 2014, Marlon unfortunately relapsed and his best option was a bone marrow transplant. Luckily, his three year old brother Ivan was a match and Marlon received his transplant.

Now, almost one year later Marlon has been able to rejoin his kindergarten classmates in school, and his lively charm and infectious smile make him a local favorite. Marlon lives in Calistoga with his mom Melissa, older sister Angelina, brother Ivan and baby sister Priscilla. Marlon loves dancing and music, and even requested a Michael Jackson themed party for his Make-A-Wish.

 Rylan Macomb Small

Rylan Macomb

East Bay Remembered Hero

This year, we walk in memory of Rylan Jaxson Macomb, who was granted his angel wings on April 1 after a lifelong battle with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).  Though Rylan was only six years old when he passed, his amazing personality made everyone fall in love with him and his gentle smile could melt the hearts of those around him.


After an initial diagnosis in 2011, Rylan relapsed three times with leukemia.  Despite these physical challenges, Rylan never appeared frail; he possessed strength, perseverance, and the ability to overcome incredible odds.  During his five-year battle with ALL, Rylan not only took chemotherapy treatments but also participated in several clinical trials, including CAR T-cell immunotherapy, KTP-330, and Inotuzamab.  He was the first patient in several of these trials and helped pave the way to successful treatments for others who have relapsed ALL.  We are incredibly grateful that Rylan knew he had beaten cancer for the fourth time just before he passed away.  He was a true fighter and hero.


With his courage, Rylan helped us to understand that each day is a blessing and an opportunity to create lasting memories.  He could spend hours dancing to his favorite songs, playing sports, and spending time with Red Baby, his beloved bear.  His life was truly one to be celebrated, and at this year?s Walk, we will proudly wear our Team Smilin Rylan t-shirts in honor of our superhero.


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