Earlier this year, choreographer Kennith Thomas tugged at our heartstrings wit the story of his son, Kristian.
By Alexia McKay
The New Jersey dancer has been battling a rare form of cancer called acute megakaryoblastic leukemia (AMKL) for the past few months. The survival rate for cancer among children is between 14 and 34%, according to St. Jude’s. But as of this past November, the 15-month-old is now cancer -free. To celebrate, Kennith and his wife, Josilyne posted a dance video on Instagram to celebrate the baby’s remission.
“WE BEAT CANCER!!!!! We Are Going Home!! THANK YOU GOD YOU GET ALL THE HONOR AND ALL THE GLORY,” he posted in the caption.
Thomas told TODAY Parents, “it was the most glorifying thing you could ever feel. When your 1-year-old is going through a huge battle, as a parent you want to take their place — you don’t want them to have to suffer.”
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1..2..3..its a @instagram PARTY on The Dancing Dads Page 🎉🎉 And Everyone is Invited!! WE BEAT CANCER!!!!! We Are Going Home!! THANK YOU GOD YOU GET ALL THE HONOR AND ALL THE GLORY 🧡🧡🧡🧡#fightkristian #fightcancer #fightleukemia TAG @forkingandcountry 🎉🎉 _______________ #thethomasclan #family #trisomy21 #thedancingdad #kennyclutch #21KRISTIAN #dance #love #dancer #motivation
Instead of the hospital, baby Kristian spent this past Christmas home with his family.
On Christmas the family posted another joyful, tearjerker video of Kristian at home, dancing and singing to Chris Brown’s “This Christmas.”
It’s a refreshing, new start in the child’s life. When Kristian was 14-months-old, he was diagnosed with leukemia and down syndrome. Back in July, Kristian’s story came to the spotlight when his father posted a video of himself dancing to Ciara’s “Level Up,” after learning they could finally take Kristian home after a 30-day plus at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) for chemotherapy treatments.
“When you wake up to your son’s number LEVELS UP!! And we get to go home for a few days as he is killing CANCER,” he posted as the caption. The video gained over 2.8 million views and grew Thomas’s followers by over 73,000.
Thomas told TODAY Parents when he first made the video; he never thought it would go as viral as it did and that he was only worried about keeping his son’s spirits up.
“He was going home that day,” Thomas said. “His levels were up, and we were going home — it all fell into place, so I put the video out there, and it just caught fire.”
He told the Philadelphia Inquirer in a July interview that many people at the hospital watch their video every day for inspiration. “Many people are telling us that our videos are inspiring them to fight,” he said. ” That’s the message at the end of the day: To fight.”
The video grabbed the attention of the “Level Up” queen herself, Ciara, who visited Kristian at the hospital in August. She called him a rock star.
“He’s surrounded by an abundance of love! He radiates love! He’s a true warrior! I feel so blessed being with him and his family,” she wrote on her Twitter.
— Ciara (@ciara) August 3, 2018
When the superstar heard the news about his remission, she posted a congratulatory message on Instagram writing, “So glad to hear that Kristian is now cancer free! God is good! Go baby Kristian!” Christopher Reid of Kid ‘N Play also sent his congratulations on Kristian’s new cancer-free status.
MUSIC + LOVE = CANCER FREE……Much love to @Kennyclutch415 for sharing this beautiful moment with lil’ man man…..if this don’t move you-eff you #BabyBabyBaby #KidnPlay #DancingDad pic.twitter.com/wmTImnPxRD
— Christopher KID Reid (@kidfromkidnplay) November 27, 2018
Thomas is grateful for the tremendous support and the second chance at life his son was given.
“We’ve been given the opportunity to speak life into people and motivate others to never give up and continue the fight no matter what they’re facing,” he told TODAY Parents. Going forward the family plans to use Kristian’s inspiring story and their social media platform to raise awareness about pediatric cancer.
Thomas and his wife, have three other children, ages 14, 9 and 4. They own a dance studio called The Level Dance Complex in New Jersey.
By Alexia McKay