Ben | 2018 Basketball Kid Captain

UnityPoint Clinic - Express (Jordan Creek)

180 Jordan Creek Parkway, Suite 120
West Des Moines, Iowa 50266

01 Patients
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UnityPoint Clinic - Express (Waukee)

950 E. Hickman Road
Waukee, Iowa 50263

01 Patients
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UnityPoint Clinic Adult Respiratory Illness

2103 Ingersoll Ave., Ste. 2
Des Moines, Iowa 50312

00 Patients
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UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - Altoona

2720 8th St. SW
Altoona, Iowa 50009

00 Patients
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Urgent Care - Ankeny

3625 N. Ankeny Blvd.
Suite E
Ankeny, Iowa 50023

01 Patients
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Urgent Care - Lakeview

6000 University Avenue
Suite 101
West Des Moines, Iowa 50266

02 Patients
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Urgent Care - Merle Hay

4020 Merle Hay Road
Suite 100
Des Moines, Iowa 50310

Closed Patients
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Urgent Care - Southglen

6520 SE 14th St.
Des Moines, Iowa 50320

03 Patients
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Urgent Care - Urbandale

2901 86th Street
Urbandale, Iowa 50322

00 Patients
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Ben

At only 5.5 years, Ben Tesene has faced more adversity in his young life than most people see in a lifetime. On March 20, 2016, when Ben was only three, his parents took him to an Urgent Care clinic because they thought he had come down with a virus. He had been tired, running a low fever, and had some unexplained bruising. Four hours later, Ben and his parents were in the Blank Children’s Hospital Emergency Department being given news that would alter their lives forever: CANCER. 

“Cancer is never on your radar as a parent,” said Ben’s mom, Nina.

Ben was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). The initial phases of treatment were intense. Ben and his family were at the clinic weekly getting chemo and blood transfusions. About a year ago, he started long-term maintenance. Ben takes daily oral chemo and receives monthly chemo via IV at the clinic. He also has to undergo periodic sedation for lumbar punctures. 

Despite his rigorous cancer treatment that will last three years, Ben attends Pre-K, participates in swimming and basketball, and tries hard to keep up with his 7-year-old sister Claire. He deals with some side effects of his diagnosis and treatment, including physical therapy for neuropathy in his legs and feet. He is sometimes tired and once a month takes steroids that cause a strong reaction. When his blood counts are low, Ben stays home and has to miss school and other events.

“Despite it all, we have been very lucky,” said Nina. “Ben has done remarkably well.”

Ben loves sports (especially basketball!), running, and riding his bike. In the face of such adversity, Ben hasn’t let his diagnosis bring his spirit down. He is a happy boy who loves life and is an inspiration to many, especially his parents!

“Ben’s diagnosis has taught me to seize the day!” said Nina. “I have learned to slow down and enjoy moments with him and his sister. Every milestone we have with him is a blessing we don't take for granted. We take life one day at a time and are so grateful that he is doing well.”