Childhood Cancer Awareness Month Honorees

preston Christiansen

Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumor (DSRCT)


Preston was diagnosed 12/25/15 (Christmas Day) age 10 with an extremely rare form of cancer called Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumor (DSRCT). He is now 16,  he has received 54 rounds of different IV Chemotherapy’s and 45 sessions of radiation in his abdominal area that’s had the bulk of his cancer tumors, his bone cancer in his femur, wing bone and clavicle bone, forehead, spine and lungs. 

He has done 1 clinical trial in NY at MSKCC in 2017. We tried to do another clinical trial in NY in Sept 2021 but the cancer has spread and we were told he has months but not a year left of life.  He’s had 9 surgeries total and his cancer has returned 6 times. He’s a fighter just like all these beautiful children fighting this terrible Disease! 

Preston’s cancer is non curable(terminal) and extremely rare (DSRCT)Preston was on a maintenance chemo when we got back from New York in September 2021 and we found out in January of 2022 that it had stopped working. We were trying so hard to keep Preston stable enough to start new clinical trial called Elimusertib on March 7th that was approved for DSRCT at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles.  But with all the efforts from the doctors and nurses from March 2nd when Preston was admitted into the hospital at CHLA his body just couldn’t handle anymore. With all the treatments his body has been through in the past 6 & 1/2 years from the age of 10. the doctors told us nothing will work and what they are doing is more harm than good. Preston’s wish is to come home from a long battle of extremely rare cancer DSRCT to live the rest of his remaining life in the comfort of his home surrounded by his family and friends. 

Preston, came home on Friday March 11th 2022. On Saturday March 12th 2022, HSUD and Tahquitz High School and his Tahquitz Cheer team and many members of Hemet community( city council, Fire department, police department,& the media) came together in a surprise a celebration of Preston’s honorary graduation from High School. Our dear friend Michael Rosenbaum catered the wonderful event. His cheer coach Sarah Peterson presented him with his cap and gown to change into. It was a wonderful day and a dream come true for Preston to graduate and to have so many of his friends from his cheer team come and so many family friends celebrate with him. It’s a day we will always cherish. Preston suffered until the end as he Struggled to take his last breath saying to me “momma I can’t breathe” a few minutes later his heart stopped beating. At 9:40am Preston passed away with his Dad, his brother Chandler and his mom by his side on 4/22/22. 

Cancer should never happen to a child but it does. More than people realize. My sons dream and my dream as his mom is to raise awareness so that more funding will go towards innocent children that are diagnosed with cancer every day! It is every Adults responsibility to protect and put all children first. Enough is enough of accepting that we can’t get more help for children suffering from cancer and dying. They deserve to live, long happy lives, not say goodbye to their families and friends! That’s not their choice and this needs to change! I will forever tell Preston’s story so hopefully one day no more children will have to suffer and the parents will not have to lose their child. 

-Michelle Nijst, mother

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