"Neuroblastoma is a childhood cancer that starts in young nerve cells called neuroblasts. In a healthy child, these cells become the nerves that control functions like heartbeat and blood pressure and the way the body reacts to stress. In neuroblastoma, some of the neuroblasts do not mature. Instead, they divide and grow into tumors. Cancer in children is rare, and neuroblastoma accounts for less than 10% of all childhood cancers. Doctors group neuroblastoma into 3 levels: low, intermediate, and high risk. Risk refers to how difficult the neuroblastoma is to treat." -Seattle Children's Hospital
Hunter Rose's Diagnosis & Treatment
Hunter Rose's neuroblastoma was diagnosed on September 22, 2017 as stage four high risk, which in her case means that it spread from the origin tumor (near abdomen) to her lymph nodes, and into hip and jaw bones through the bone.
We were lucky in how it was discovered, as Hunter Rose showed no signs or symptoms. It was actually found by her dentist (Harlyn Susarla of Stellar Dentisty) through a routine dental check up. We thank God for Dr. Susarla as she chose to do a full panoramic x-ray that day on a gut feeling! We say that was the Holy Spirit guiding her, Amen! The dental x-ray showed a tiny solid mass tumor on her jaw. After many appointments with specialists, scans, bone marrow and tumor biopsies, Seattle Children's Hospital diagnosed her. It was a difficult day we won't ever forget - you can see the first social media video we shared about Hunter Rose's diagnosis by clicking here.
There are several different options for treatment. The following treatment regimen is specific to Hunter Rose's case, and is the C.O.G. (Children's Oncology Group) plan for high risk stage four neuroblastoma. Hunter Rose's treatment (October 2017 - March 2020)
*Diagnosis (scans, bone marrow and tumor biopsies, blood work)
*Chemotherapy (5 cycles)
*Surgery (tumor removal)
*Stem cell transplants (two)
*Radiation treatments (12)
*Immune therapy (months)
*Cancer Vaccine Trial (1 year at Sloan Kettering Hospital NYV)
Hunter had a Double Power Hickman Line and a NG FeedingTube for 18 months in which she received three bags of nourish formula per day and all of her treatment medicines through.
The treatment was harsh and comes with risks of up to 90% that she will get a secondary disease such as Leukemia, kidney disease, liver disease, and heart disease. Treatment also comes with potential side effects such as infertility, hearing loss (she has now), trouble walking, and self esteem issues for years to come.
How to Help
There are several ways you can help. Supporting the following organizations and non profits is a great way to help further research studies seeking a cure, and assist families currently facing childhood cancer.
Others Ways to Help
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