On October 11, 1996 Carlos was diagnosed with a “Medulloblastoma” malignant
brain tumor. From October to December, Carlos endured two brain surgeries
and shortly after began his first session of chemotherapy at St.
Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN. After a series of miracles,
Carlos survived both surgeries and was on his way to recovery.
The intense rounds of chemotherapy caused Carlos to be bald and produced a
significant amount of scar tissue.
As Carlos’ parents made their annual Christmas card in December 1996,
they did not want people to see a picture of their three children and
only see Carlos’ illness. They wanted friends and family to look past
Carlos’ baldness and sickness and rather see his beautiful smile,
dark chestnut eyes, long eyelashes and more importantly let everyone
know that Carlos survived! So for their 1996 Christmas card, Carlos’
parents decided that all three children would each wear different hats.
This picture is featured on the Halo Hats website banner.
With this picture, Carlos’ parents wanted to send a very important
message to their family and friends: despite a little baldness, Carlos
During the years following Carlos’ recovery, he asked his parents,
“will my hair ever grow back?” His parents responded that time will
tell and encouraged young Carlos with positive thoughts. Carlos
always wanted to wear a hat to feel more comfortable at school and
to help prevent himself from being teased by naïve young kids for
his baldness. It was like a little security blanket, something that
made him look just like everyone else. Today, he has the confidence
to be bald and wisdom to know how special and wonderful he is, just
like his sisters.