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Teen hopes to inspire others after defeating skin disorder that afflicts 1 in a million

Xander Cabales was only 7 when he was diagnosed with Stevens-Johnson syndrome, a rare skin disorder that affects only 1 in a million people each year.
Published: Apr. 4, 2022 at 5:32 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - An Ewa Beach 15-year-old is Hawaii’s new ambassador for the Children’s Miracle Network after surviving an arduous years-long journey.

Xander Cabales was only 7 when he was diagnosed with Stevens-Johnson syndrome, an extremely rare skin disorder that affects only 1 in a million people each year.

He lost 60% of his skin, suffered injuries to his lungs and eyes, endured countless operations, and spent four weeks on life support.

The Campbell High School sophomore has since made a full recovery.

And on Monday, his new role was announced at the Kapiolani Center for Women & Children.

“It’s good to be resilient and strong, despite how hard it may be because there were times where it may have been hard for me,” Cabales said.

“But in the end, I kind of learned how to cope with it, so I’d say it’s best to stay positive.”

Cabales’ mother, Laura, said Monday’s announcement is especially emotional when she thinks back to the first time he was diagnosed.

“Being told that your child is dying and not understanding why is overwhelming, it’s something you’ll never forget,” Laura said. “Giving up was just never an option. Despite what it said on paper, we knew what the worst outcome could be, but until it was said and done, it just was never an option for us.”

As a CMN Champion, Xander will share his story over the next year in hopes of inspiring others. Kapiolani also surprised him and his family with an all-expenses paid trip to Universal Studios in Orlando.

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