Limb-Salvage Surgery Proves Hole-in-One Decision for Pediatric Cancer Survivor

It was quite a spring for Andrew Hedberg. The rising high school sophomore made the varsity golf team and was elected class president for the upcoming school year. Most importantly, the bone cancer that once threatened his left leg and his life remained in remission. All of this validated the decision that Andrew’s family made … Continued

Athlete Getting Back on the Field After Low-Grade Glioma

This post was originally published on Thriving, Boston Children’s Hospital’s pediatric health blog. It started with muscle aches in her shoulders, almost like spasms, while she slept. The pain was awful, and nothing seemed to bring relief. But because Erin Holmberg is a varsity three-sport athlete—soccer, basketball and track—everyone assumed it was muscular pain caused … Continued

Now in Remission, Pediatric Cancer Patient is Inspiration for Her Family

Kids often rely on their parents for inspiration, but for Kevin and Becky McAvoy, it’s their five-year-old daughter Avery who provides the spark. Avery was less than a year old when she was diagnosed with metastatic neuroblastoma, the most common type of cancer in infants. Her cancer contained an anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) mutation. The … Continued

Parents of Two-Year-Old Hepatoblastoma Survivor Enjoying Every Milestone

Steph and Jake Holbrook know the date of every important moment in their son’s life: William’s first steps, his first words, and even his first Boston Red Sox game. Another date they’ll forever remember: Jan. 17, 2018, when they were told that William—then 10 months old—had a rare type of liver cancer. “I couldn’t believe … Continued

After 80 Years, Genetic Causes of Diamond-Blackfan Anemia Come Into View

This post was originally published on Vector, Boston Children Hospital’s science and clinical innovation blog. In 1938, Louis K. Diamond, MD, and Kenneth Blackfan, MD, at Boston Children’s Hospital described a severe congenital anemia that they termed “hypoplastic” (literally, “underdeveloped”) because of the bone marrow’s inability to produce mature, functioning red blood cells. Eighty years … Continued

Pediatric Leukemia Survivor Having a Ball After CAR T-Cell Therapy

After undergoing a promising new treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), Cole Malone is back to doing what he loves: playing on a flag football team with his twin brother, Michael. Cole and Michael Malone, who are 14, already know plenty about teamwork. Michael served as a perfect-match donor when Cole underwent a stem cell … Continued

8 Stories of Hope from 2018

We featured the stories of many inspirational Dana-Farber patients in 2018. Here are eight that embody the word “hope.” In early 2018, CAR T-cell therapy put Sandra Linberg, a 75-year-old lymphoma patient, into complete remission. Linberg had been previously treated for advanced non-Hodgkin lymphoma with standard chemotherapy, but the cancer recurred. Now, after only a month … Continued

Sajni Walks Among the Stars: A Parent’s Perspective

This post originally appeared on Thriving, Boston Children Hospital’s pediatric health blog. Our daughter Sajni Chakrabarti was only 7 and a half years old when she was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of brain cancer—diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG)—and given only nine months to live. Sajni loved life and learning. She spoke French fluently, … Continued

Diagnosed as a Baby, Neuroblastoma Patient is Cancer-Free Toddler

The first year of a baby’s life is filled with milestones, but between sitting and standing up, holding his bottle, and playing peek-a-boo, there was one thing Landon Cato developed that his parents never anticipated: cancer. Landon was just shy of eight months old in July 2016 when his parents took him to the pediatrician, … Continued

How Precision Medicine Turned Jesus’ Unique Tumor into an Operable One

This post originally appeared on Thriving, Boston Children’s Hospital’s pediatric health blog. On a hot, August day in a Boston park, Jesus Apolinaris Cruz cooled off with a water squirt gun fight with his mother and sister. As he nimbly ran and dodged their aim, he twisted around to sneak shots of water back in their … Continued

Pediatric Survivors and Parents Find School Liaison Program is a Lifeline

Harry Clark has faced many academic challenges in his dozen years of brain cancer treatment, but through surgeries, radiation, and chemotherapy, one person has always been there to guide and reassure the high school junior and his family on scholastic matters. School psychologist Marybeth Morris, EdM, is one half of a dynamic duo supporting pediatric … Continued

Pediatric Patient and Social Worker Forge Bond From Clinic to College

Like many of Dana-Farber’s youngest patients, 3-year-old Hannah Packman brought a favorite plaything to each of her Jimmy Fund Clinic visits. Lulu the doll, however, was unique because of the extra attention she received from pediatric social worker Deborah Berk, LICSW. When Hannah had a blood draw, Berk arranged for Lulu to have one as … Continued

Gene Therapy Helps Treat Boy’s Rare Immune Disorder

In their Brookline home-far-away-from-home, 2-year-old Duy Anh “Harry” Le plays with blocks and pop-up toys on the floor with his mother, Thao Nguyen. He is lively and happy, and his skin is clear. He looks almost nothing like the sickly baby covered in eczema who arrived in Boston from his native Vietnam in November 2016 … Continued

Blood Relatives: Family Bound by Love and Rare Blood Disorder

Tracy Antonelli was four when she was diagnosed with thalassemia, a rare blood disorder that occurs often enough in Mediterranean countries like Italy that an old adage, uttered only partially in jest, warns Italian-Americans against marrying other Italian-Americans. In 2002, a grown-up Antonelli wed Patrick Mooty, whose background is mostly Irish. Their three daughters – … Continued

One Family, One Researcher: How Mikey’s Journey is Fueling an Attack on DIPG

This story first appeared on Vector, a blog of Boston Children’s Hospital. “It’s a brutal disease; there’s just no other way to describe DIPG,” says Steve Czech. “And what’s crazy is that there aren’t many treatment options because it’s such a rare, orphan disease.” Czech’s son, Mikey, was diagnosed with a diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma … Continued