Nine-year-old Micah has spent the bulk of his life fighting cancer. But you can’t really tell by looking at him, seeing his smiling face, or seeing him attempt to get the better of his older brother, Asher.
Micah doesn’t remember a lot from his neuroblastoma diagnosis – he was just 15 months old when his parents got the news. However, due to stubborn disease and two relapses, he was in treatment for nearly seven years. He does have memories of some of the more recent experiences, though, including celebrating the end of treatment in February 2019.
Micah had three resection surgeries, 21 cycles of chemo, and 36 total sessions of radiation – in addition to clinical trials and even an IV radiation therapy called MIBG, which required him to stay in a lead-lined room for four days. Two separate phases of his treatment were centered around Unituxin, an immunotherapy drug developed with support from St. Baldrick’s that received FDA approval while Micah was in treatment. Unituxin has been so effective in improving survival among high-risk neuroblastoma patients like Micah that it is now part of the standard treatment approach.
Now that his blood work and scans have been clear for more than five years and he’s been completely off treatment for nearly a year, Micah is looking forward to a milestone event—his first survivorship clinic in 2020. In the meantime, he is back to being a regular kid and doing regular kid stuff – playing with friends, reading fantasy literature and mythology books, going to sleepaway summer camp, and visiting his favorite places: London, Los Angeles, and even the hospital, because as he says, “that’s where a lot of my earliest memories are and where I made a lot of friends … both kids and adults.”
His parents, Jeff and Kate, first got involved with St. Baldrick’s in 2014, and the whole family is passionate about helping to fund the most promising research for safer, better treatments for kids with cancer. The family established a Hero Fund, the Mighty Micah’s Mission Fund, aiming to raise at least $100,000 to fund neuroblastoma research.
Micah is very interested in science and hopes to grow up to become a doctor. He even has a message for researchers involved with the foundation: “Thank you for creating new medicines for kids with cancer. Those medicines save kids’ lives, and one of them saved mine.”