On April 30th 2007 we went into MSKCC for a consultation with Co- Chairman of Pediatric Oncology, Dr. Paul Meyers. While in the waiting room, on the 9th floor of the pediatric unit a patients mother looked at Max (then only three years old , full head of hair) , and then over to Annemarie. She said, “He doesn’t look like he should be here.” Annemarie looked up and quietly replied, “I hope you are right.”
Unfortunately , two days later after the biopsy we learned his tumor was malignant. Two weeks later we learned it had spread. By mid June, Max was well into his chemotherapy. He was bald, bloated and pale from the medicines. He very much looked like he belonged there.
On October 13th, 2009 the doctors removed his port. This is a milestone. The port was surgically implanted in Max’s chest the day of the biopsy. They only remove the port after treatment, and once the patient is believed to be in remission. This is good news.
Max climbed up onto the operating table and lied down. We watched the anesthesiologist slowly administer the anesthesia. Annemarie and I watched him fall to sleep. I kissed him on his head, and then we left the room. Twenty minutes later he was in recovery.
Shortly after, I left the hospital to go to work. I walked out the glass doors onto 68th street and headed up towards First Avenue to catch a cab. While walking I felt a sudden jolt of joy. For a slight moment , I felt like I did the day of my high school graduation. I wanted to throw my cap up in the air and celebrate. But then reality set in. I felt more like the father of a soldier, who was just told that the war is over, and his son is coming home.
Over 12,500 children are diagnosed with cancer every year in the United States. Each school day, 46 children are diagnosed with cancer. Pediatric cancer is the leading cause of death in children between the ages of one and nineteen. One in every five children diagnosed will die five years from the time of diagnosis. There are more than 270,000 childhood cancer survivors in the U.S.
As we approach the end of the year- please keep us in mind when making donations. We are dedicated to saving our children suffering from cancer as well as those that are next in line.
Roar For A Cure-