"We found a huge light through The National Children’s Cancer Society," said Julie, mom of 7-year old survivor, Adam.
Adam was diagnosed with Stage IV High Risk Neuroblastoma, one month after his second birthday. A precocious two-year old headed into almost two years of treatment including six rounds of chemo, abdominal resection surgery, stem cell transplant, radiation and seven rounds of l antibody therapy. "Through it all, he did it with as much strength and courage as a two year old could muster," said Julie. Adam spent the next two and a half years disease-free. "This gave us all time to dive back into the 'real' world," according to Julie. "Except for quarterly scans in New York, life was back to normal and we were growing more confident that we could conquer the beast." Unfortunately, Adam relapsed with a small tumor in his left tibia. More chemo and radiation followed and he was pronounced healthy again in a less than six months. Because the risk of relapse is very high, Adam continues on anti-tumor treatments.
"The high cost of treatment only adds to the stress of dealing with a child with cancer. We try to do as much as we can locally... to keep our family together. However, certain treatments are only offered at hospitals we have to travel to," said Julie. Adam has been treated at Duke Children’s Hospital in Durham, NC, Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York, and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Between out-of-pocket maximums, prescriptions and travel costs, Julie felt as though they falling into a "bottomless hole." "NCCS has helped us with travel expenses to New York and Philadelphia - one of the big costs of treatment for Adam," said Julie. "Their assistance has allowed us to concentrate more on Adam’s treatments and less on how we are going to pay to get there. We felt we were drowning for a while and it was such a great feeling to know someone out there had our backs."
Adam continues to live a good life. His current treatment has very few side effects and after a few more years, Julie is confident Adam will be cancer-free for good. "Thank you to The National Children’s Cancer Society for helping us get this very good place we are in right now."