I was the average teenager and had been a cheerleader since I was in third grade. I always enjoyed going out with friends and having fun but when I was diagnosed, I was lucky if my counts were high enough to go to the movies. My summer plans crumbled under the word “cancer.”
By Graham Henry, childhood cancer survivor.
My name is Graham Henry and I’d like to share with you about a recent turn of events that changed my life forever.
The story begins when I was 16, and like most 16-year-olds, I was invincible. Well, at least I thought I was. It was summer and freshman year had finally come to an end. I had a license, a car, and many great friends. The only thing I was missing was money to fill the gas tank, so I got a part-time job at my local grocery store.
In the words of Julie, mother to Adam, childhood cancer survivor.
Meet the Weckel Family:
We are a family of four and live in Bettendorf, Iowa. My husband, Jamie Weckel, and I have been married for 16 years and together we have two boys, Adam, age 11, and Luke, age 8. In October 2000, our first child, Adam, was born perfectly healthy with no health concerns. Nine months later, our whole world changed when he was diagnosed with extraosseous Ewing sarcoma – a tumor in his left forearm.
Some moments are unforgettable – like the moment Dr. Jason Yustein met Katie*, a nine-year-old child with cancer.
Katie’s family had piled into their family car to drive more than five hours from West Virginia to Baltimore, Maryland with Katie’s MRI results in hand and a recommendation from their pediatrician to get a second opinion at Johns Hopkins Children’s Hospital.
“As a fellow, you’re the first one to get called into the ER,” says Yustein. When he met Katie, he noticed her lack of coordination and balance and heard her complain of headaches. On her MRI, he saw a large brain tumor. “A particular percentage was inoperable, and therefore, fatal. There would be no cure for the patient,” he recalls.
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