I am so excited to participate in this year's CureSearch Walk. This will be our 3rd year supporting this organization. The Walk benefits CureSearch for Children's Cancer and the money our team raises supports their mission to fund and support targeted and innovative children's cancer research!
December 11, 2012, seemed like any other day. We were excited to take Nolan to his 9 month, well baby check up and see how much he had grown and developed since his last appointment. During Nolan's appointment, his pediatrician, Dr. Patrick Steinauer *Village Pointe Pediatrics) did his normal routine. He then was feeling Nolan's stomach and asked about his diet, if he had been jaundice, and a few other things. I didn't think much of it but he recommended we go to Children's to do an ultrasound that same day. By the end of the day, we had learned that Nolan had a tumor attached to his adrenal gland.Within 24 hours, we had an appointment with Oncology and Dr. Don Coulter. At this point, we still didn't know that iif it was cancer, but could only think negative thoughts that we were going to lose our child.
Within the next few days, we had blood work, more ultrasounds, CAT scans, bone scans, etc. and received the news that the tumor was contained, meaning that we could do surgery right away, but didn't know at this time if Nolan would need any sort of chemo, until surgery was complete.
By December 18th, Nolan had surgery, removing the tumor (that was the size of a softball) along with his gull bladder (the tumor was so large, putting pressure on his gull bladder, causing stones). By December 23rd, we were out of the hospital and home in time for Nolan's first Christmas. In January 2013, Nolan had a MIBG scan, after being injected with a dye. We were told that this would make any cancer light up like a Christmas tree, determining if Nolan's cancer had spread, although they were extremely confident that all was removed during his surgery. Within a day or 2, we learned that Nolan's cancer was completely gone and he was cured by surgery. To this day, Kyle and I are amazing by the strength our little man had. I wish this upon no other parent as it was by far, the most difficult thing we have gone through as a couple and as parents.
Neuroblastoma is the most common extracranial solid cancer in childhood and the most common cancer in infancy, with an incidence of about 650 cases per year in the U.S. per year. Nearly half of neuroblastoma cases occur in children younger than two years. If its found by the age of 18 months, its a miracle. Nolan's was found when he was 9 months old.
Curesearch is one of the few foundations that spends the most money, from donations, towards research. Together, we are fighting for the future every child deserves and every parent dreams of.
Thank you so much!