Early one summer, Jane noticed her son Andrew was limping. “The ache in his leg would come and go. We thought it was probably just growing pains.” It turned out to be a tumor in his knee. He was nine years old.
Andrew was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare and aggressive cancer. He started a 36-week regimen of chemotherapy right away. Jane says, “It was so overwhelming, but we felt confident in the care he was getting. Everyone was so positive. We never questioned it and never doubted the doctors.”
Andrew was in the hospital three weeks of each month for chemo treatment, and sometimes with complications. His tumor responded well to the treatment, though, and he eventually had surgery to remove his femur and replace it with a rod and cadaver bone.
During his growth years, Andrew endured bone-lengthening surgery every four to six months-a routinely painful process, but one much better than the alternative of losing his leg altogether.
“Andrew’s treatment was available to him because of recent developments like the new technology that saved his leg,” Jane said. “I just know our story would be so different without an organization like Children’s Cancer Research Fund to support new ideas and new research.”
“I just know our story would be so different without an organization like Children’s Cancer Research Fund to support new ideas and new research.”
Andrew became involved in Children’s Cancer Research Fund when he submitted a drawing to the butterfly art contest and won. “That was so key in Andrew’s healing,” Jane says. “So many bad things happen during treatment. He lost weight, lost his hair, couldn’t play sports anymore. The contest was a real highlight for him.” He was honored at the Dawn of a Dream Gala, where he received his award.
“Just knowing there’s an organization fighting for kids gives us so much hope…that there’s a huge group of people out there doing what they can to help kids with cancer is a real comfort.”
Andrew is a young man now, and he continues to pursue his interest in art. “Now that Andrew can’t run and jump any more, he had to think about what else he could do besides sports,” Jane says. “He wants to be an architect when he grows up.”