Chesterfield child beating cancer: ‘He is our super hero’

Posted at 6:10 PM, Jun 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-07 18:14:07-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Mason Oliveria takes life in stride and remains focused on his every move.

Nothing, these days, can slow the two-year-old child down, not even a life-threatening illness.

Last December parents Elissa and Shaun received the devastating news that a rare tumor was growing fast inside their son.

"It was the worst day of our lives," Shaun said. "The wild thing was it was about two and a half pounds. It was this big. It consumed his whole entire kidney."

The prognosis was unknown.

“You hear the word ‘cancer’ and it crushes you,” Elissa said. “That was I think the longest week of our lives.”

Mason would endure surgery days after the diagnosis. Doctors removed one of his kidneys. Rounds of chemo would follow. His parents questioned why their little boy would have to endure so much at such a young age.

“You get to a point where you realize that anger is not going to help your family. To Elissa’s point we need to be there for him and he needs us,” Shaun said.

Mason is now turning a corner. The medicine is working.

"Children are so resilient, and I didn’t believe it until I saw it in my own child,” Elissa said.

Doctors said Mason should make a full recovery.

The Oliveira family said the trying chapter has changed their perspective on life.

As for Mason who turned two last month, he is looking ahead to brighter days especially in his backyard. Recently, volunteers with Roc Solid Foundation surprised Mason with a new super swing set.

Shaun and Elissa called the generosity of strangers "a blessing."

“Absolutely. Very lucky. Very lucky,” Elissa said. "His prognosis is very, very good."

Through treatment and sheer determination and what mom and dad called his fighting spirit -- Mason Strong.

“He is our super hero. He is our super hero.”

Greg McQuade features local heroes in a weekly “Heroes Among Us” segment. Watch Greg’s reports Thursdays on CBS News at 6 or here on If you would like to nominate someone to be featured on “Heroes Among Us,” click here to email