St. Baldrick’s Fellow Dr. Elliot Stieglitz is a big reader, but not in the way that you might think. Over three years, he read the DNA of one hundred children with JMML, a rare leukemia, and he discovered something major. Read on to learn how his discovery could lead to better treatments for kids with this rare disease.
For St. Baldrick’s Fellow Dr. Elliot Stieglitz, being a pediatric oncologist is the perfect blend of emotional satisfaction and intellectual stimulation.
His heart is with the kids and their families, guiding them through the toughest time in their lives. His head is in the lab, trying to find better treatments for childhood cancer.
When Gary Crays found out his grandson, Ezra, had childhood cancer, he was devastated. Read Gary’s account of what it was like to witness Ezra’s childhood cancer journey and how St. Baldrick’s gave him a way to fight back.
Ezra was diagnosed with juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML) when he was 4 months old.
Denial. That’s what I felt when I first learned that my newborn grandson, Ezra, had abnormal blood counts.
His parents and his big brother were as healthy as could be, and his mother was careful to extremes during her pregnancy. I thought, “Whatever this is, it will quickly resolve itself.”
Since his birth three years ago, little Ezra has learned to love airplanes, chocolate milk, and his big brother. He’s also learned what it’s like to have childhood cancer. Read what Ezra’s mom, Elisabeth, has to say about his early diagnosis and how some bad news ended up saving Ezra’s life.
Ezra, now in remission, was diagnosed with juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML) when he was 4 months old.
On the morning of April 20, 2013, we welcomed our second son, our sweet, little Ezra. For a couple hours, all was well with the world.
We can’t remember the exact moment, or the exact words that first brought news of Ezra’s medical issues, but nothing could have prepared us for the frightening journey we embarked upon that day.
Caemon was a happy, inquisitive child, full of energy and love. Not even childhood cancer could change that. “He was a boy who was ready to live, and whether at home or at the children’s hospital, he was going to keep making meaning of his life,” writes his mom, Timaree. She tells his story below.
Photo courtesy In Her Image Photography
On a sunny afternoon in September 2009, my wife and I, a couple for 11 years, were transformed into a family with the birth of our son Caemon.
He looked nothing like we expected with his downy blonde hair and Pacific Ocean eyes, and in an instant, we knew that any expectations we had of this chubby little cherub had to be released. The only certainty was that after two years of trying so hard to make a family, our son was finally here. He was ours to cherish, and cherish him we did.
Dr. Elliot Stieglitz is a St. Baldrick’s Fellow at the University of California, San Francisco. He’s researching ways to help kids with JMML who don’t respond to standard treatment. He explains JMML symptoms, treatment options, and how your support is moving research forward.
What is JMML?
Juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML) is a type of blood cancer that affects young children.