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First responder reflects on sending his child, a cancer survivor, back to school during COVID-19 pandemic

Cristian Hinojosa's son, Max, is a cancer survivor. His child's health is something he takes seriously as school begins.

DALLAS — "I would be lying if I didn't say it keeps me up at night, having gone through the first two years of his life," said Cristian Hinojosa.

He's the father of Max Hinojosa, a 6-year-old fun-loving boy.

Max is a cancer survivor. At birth, he was diagnosed with a rare form or leukemia. 

"1.2 per million births have JMML," said Cristian Hinojosa. 

It stands for juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia.

Although Max is healthy and free of medications, he still has underlying conditions when it comes to the dangers of COVID-19.

On top of that, Hinojosa has seen the impact of the novel coronavirus firsthand through his job as a Dallas firefighter. 

"We are seeing a lot of sick patients," he said. "The term that we're using now in the fire department is we need to be ready to pivot." 

And he's ready to pivot at work and at home with his kids. 

From the perspective of a father and a firefighter, he decided to join the COVID Task Force at Alcuin School where Max will be a first grader in the fall. He said there is a weekly meeting to discuss the latest changes of the coronavirus. Hinojosa trusts the leaders at Alcuin School to make the safest decisions for the children.

Alcuin School recently announced in-person learning will be postponed until Oct. 13. 

In a statement to WFAA, the school writes, "Our top priority is the safety and security of our students, families, teachers and staff, even as we work very hard to provide the highest quality Montessori and IB education for our students. Based on the science and data made available to us by the Centers for Disease Control, the National Institutes of Health, and the State of Texas, as well as yesterday’s recommendation from the Dallas County Department of Health and Human Services, we will remain in our Connected Learning phase until we believe it is safe for our students to return to campus."

For now, Hinojosa is ready to help Max and his brother with virtual learning. And when it comes time to decide the next steps for his children's education, he said it revolves around the health and safety of his kids. 

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