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 Diesel Noah Alexander Rhodes

Diesel Noah Alexander Rhodes

Death 19 Feb 2009 (aged 3 months)
Burial Bakersfield, Kern County, California, USA
Memorial ID 34205396 · View Source
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Rhodes, Diesel Noah Alexander

Diesel Noah Alexander Rhodes 2008- 2009 Diesel Noah Alexander Rhodes, beloved son of Nathan Rhodes and Tanya Clement, died Thursday at St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital in Memphis TN. This Angel was only 4 months old. Born in Bakersfield, CA October 29, 2008. He was courageous and inspirational in his battle against AT/RT, an aggressive and rare form of brain cancer. His battle was well worth it, he had received a clean MRI on February 12, 2009 there were no more tumors. He acquired a virus called RSV with his immune system at risk and depleted his little body could not fight anymore. His battle was not fought alone. He had the wonderful and compassionate Doctors, nurses and staff at St. Jude's Children's Hospital. Also his family, friends and perfect strangers who inspired and supported with non-stop prayer. Thank you. Diesel is survived by his parents, Nathan Rhodes and Tanya Clement; Great- Grandparents, Richard and Sandra Rhodes, Sam and Nadine Clement, Pat and Trish Edwards, Boyd Asay; his grandparents, Ron and Cindy Clement, also Trish Asay. Many loving uncles, aunts, cousins, and friends. A viewing will take place at Greenlawn Southwest Mortuary (2739 Panama Ln.), from 2:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m. on Friday, February 27, 2009. The services will be at Valley Bible Fellowship (2300 E. Brundage Ln.), at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 28, 2009. Please try to wear something yellow in memory of Diesel it was his favorite color. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN or online at, or to Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center, P.O. Box 41817, Memphis, TN 38174-1817. I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge -- myth is more potent than history-- dreams are more powerful than facts -- hope always triumphs over experience -- laughter is the cure for grief -- love is stronger than death.

Published in the Bakersfield Californian on 2/25/2009

Local baby with rare cancer dies at St. Jude
BY JASON KOTOWSKI, Californian staff writer | Friday, Feb 20 2009 9:58 PM
Last Updated: Friday, Feb 20 2009 10:00 PM

A local baby boy who captured the community's heart as he suffered from a rare form of cancer has died.
Diesel Rhodes, 4 months old, died Thursday at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Tennessee where he was undergoing treatment. The survival rate for the tumor he suffered from was less than 10 percent in children under 3.

Diesel's parents and other family could not be reached on Friday.

The boy had growths on his brain and spine from an atypical teratoid/rhaboid tumor, an uncommon cancer discovered just days after his birth. Diesel underwent several brain surgeries and his parents, Nathan Rhodes and Tanya Clement, refused to give up hope.

Diesel was accepted into a clinical trial at St. Jude's and had been scheduled to receive chemotherapy each weekend for four months to help diminish the tumors in his spine, which are inoperable. He was one of 21 children selected.

Donations for the family poured in after an account was set up at Kern Schools Federal Credit Union. Rhodes and Clement were paying $650 a month to continue their health insurance coverage after being laid off, plus there were the usual expenses for a newborn.

Funeral services are pending.

Parents find hope for critically ill newborn
BY STACEY SHEPARD, Californian staff writer | Wednesday, Dec 10 2008 5:45 PM
Last Updated: Wednesday, Dec 10 2008 5:47 PM

The close-knit community ties that characterize Bakersfield have given new hope to Tanya Clement and Nathan Rhodes that their infant son might have a chance at life.

Friends and family of Nathan Rhodes and Tanya Clement have established the Diesel Rhodes Medical Expense Fund.

Donations can be made at any Kern Schools branch or by mailing checks to Kern Schools Federal Credit Union, P.O. Box 9506, Bakersfield, CA, 93389-9506.

Checks must be made out to the Diesel Rhodes Medical Expense Fund.

Randi Patt has also organized a bracelet sale. To purchase bracelets, e-mail her at

Diesel Rhodes, now six weeks old, has a rare cancer discovered just days after he was born. Biopsies of tumors on his brain and spinal cord confirmed it was an aggressive type of tumor with poor survival rates.

After installing a shunt to drain fluid from his brain, doctors told Clement, 21, and Rhodes, 24, there was nothing more they could do. Diesel was given about six months to live.

"We were told to come home and love him and prepare for the inevitable," Nathan said.

Instead, they'll fly Thursday to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Tennessee, where Diesel will be one of 21 children in a clinical trial to treat his type of cancer.

The couple contacted the renowned hospital after learning through Clement friend Randi Patt that another Bakersfield couple with a daughter who has the same type of cancer is already at St. Jude receiving treatment.

"It was fate. If we hadn't heard about this little girl, we'd be sitting at home doing nothing right now," said Clement, cradling her son in their Bakersfield apartment Wednesday.

Patt said she doesn't know the family at St. Jude but heard about them from her sister, whose neighbor knows the family. Patt had bought a bracelet to help support the little girl.

"When we found out Diesel had the same cancer, it was like ‘OK, they need to go to St. Jude,'" Patt said. "This big group of people suddenly came together. We got ahold of someone who got ahold of someone else who eventually got Tanya on the phone with St. Jude," Patt said. "It's just an amazing story."


For Clement and Rhodes, the trip to St. Jude has brought a break from weeks of worry and devastation.

Diesel's problems began at birth, when he came out with the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck and doctors later found water on his brain. Their first suspicion was a brain aneurysm. But after he was transferred to a Los Angeles hospital, doctors found a massive brain tumor and five more tumors on the baby's spine.

Further tests confirmed they were atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor, known as ATRT, a rare, aggressive cancer most common in children younger than 2.

According to St. Jude's Web site, the survival rate for the tumor in children under 3 is less than 10 percent.

"It just wrecked us," Rhodes said. "We were crying. Then we were angry. We thought, why us? Then we wondered if it was something we did."

When St. Jude called Monday to say Diesel had been accepted into an ATRT trial, their spirits lifted.

Diesel is scheduled for surgery Monday to remove the large tumor in his brain. He'll then receive chemotherapy each weekend for four months to help diminish the tumors in his spine, which are inoperable. Maintenance chemotherapy will follow.


The couple expects to stay at St. Jude for about six months. The hospital covers almost all the expenses of the trip and treatment.

That's another blessing for Clement and Rhodes, who were both laid off from Three Way Chevrolet, where they met, this year.

They now pay $650 a month to continue their health insurance coverage. That's on top of extra money needed for diapers and other necessities for a newborn. To cover rent on their Bakersfield apartment for the six months they're at St. Jude, they recently sold Tanya's car.

It hasn't been easy, the couple said, but friends and family have helped. Their main concern now is their son.

On Sunday, Clement received a phone call from the mother of the little girl from Bakersfield who is now at St. Jude. The 2-year-old had her last surgery a few weeks ago and the cancer is gone for now, Clement was told.

"It was comforting to now she's going through the same thing we are," Clement said. "It gave us hope."

Gravesite Details A Very Special and Heartwarming to, Bernice ~ for Sponsoring Baby Diesel`s Memorial.
  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Diana Satterfield
  • Added: 25 Feb 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 34205396
  • anonymous
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Diesel Noah Alexander Rhodes (29 Oct 2008–19 Feb 2009), Find A Grave Memorial no. 34205396, citing Greenlawn Southwest Mortuary and Cemetery, Bakersfield, Kern County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave (contributor 8) .