At the age of nine, my life was turned upside down when my parents told me I had cancer. Those ﬁrst fourteen months were horrendous. I endured three major surgeries, six intense chemotherapies, and 27 days in isolation for stem cell treatment, sixteen radiations, followed by six months in and out of the hospital for an experimental drug called the 1418.
Throughout all these drugs, I suffered through dozens of fevers, blood transfusions, nose bleeds, permanent hearing loss, baldness, and an overall feeling sick and nauseous for months on end.
Three years after my initial diagnosis, I had hoped this nightmare was behind me.
Unfortunately, it came back and it came back with a vengeance.
The cancer was discovered in the back of my skull and all throughout my bones. I was terriﬁed and devastated of having to go through this journey again. Within a few weeks I was bald, being in junior high without hair, is no fun.
Surprised the plan was the same; chemo and radiation, I was hoping for something easier. Due to the cancer in my bones, I was again put into isolation (twice) for ten days at a time. This time no one was allowed in the room with me.
For another year, the doctor recommended oral chemo, I was sick and tired sixteen days a month. Because I felt ill so often, I eventually lost all my closest friends. They told me it was too hard on ‘them’ when I felt sick?! Taking extra caution, because neuroblastoma is such a difﬁcult cancer to cure, my doctor sent me to New York for yet another experimental vaccine. I had to ﬂy back and forth over seven times.
Several months later, the cancer returned again. I was sixteen and did not want to ﬁght anymore. I knew what was coming; chemotherapy and radiation. I knew I would be sick ‘a lot’. I knew I would lose my hair. I knew I would most likely lose those I loved because it would be too hard on ‘them’. Cancer robs you of everything. It took many prayers, tears, and pleas from my parents to get me back to a place where I wanted to go back into this battle.
Not wanting to sound like a broken record, but yes once again I was admitted for chemo. My doctor tried different chemotherapies hoping something would rid this cancer from my body once in for all. It lasted about two and a half years.
I did go to college last year, with no maintenance drugs. Both my parents and I were distraught when the scans showed cancer in my lungs and shoulder. My oncologist told me recently they are running out of options and ideas.
This is why I am writing to you. Hundreds of other children are ﬁghting cancer at this very moment, as am I. We need funding for Pediatric Cancer Research. This is exactly what Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation does; it tirelessly is creating new ideas on how to raise money for research. To once again quote my doctor, “We are running out of options.”
I NEED options. Please help PCRF, help me!
The Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation is relentless in its quest to realize that leading edge research is our best hope in ﬁnding a cure.