August 30, 2011 |
BEFORE SHE got sick, Hannah Max was many things: stellar math and biology student, passionate horse rider, lover of sushi. Since her diagnosis with Stage IV, high-risk neuroblastoma - a rare and deadly childhood cancer that attacks the nervous system - the 13-year-old is now a medical trailblazer, too. And you, Daily News readers, are partially responsible for that. So thank you for what you've done, not just for Hannah but for other children in desperate need of cancer care in Philadelphia.
September 30, 2010 |
A new treatment for the deadly children's cancer neuroblastoma dramatically improves survival and has become part of the standard course of care even before results were published. The study by researchers at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and other top pediatric hospitals represents the first major improvement in survival for high-risk neuroblastoma in more than a decade, and the techniques involved might be adapted to other cancers such as melanoma. The approach involves boosting the child's immune system and helping it target cancer cells.
February 18, 2010 |
IF I EVER doubted the power of the press to coax the high and mighty into doing right by the desperate and vulnerable, the story of 12-year-old Hannah Max is a reminder of its mighty force. Though a certain Dutch insurance company begs to differ. For months, the family and friends of Hannah, who has been fighting neuroblastoma - a rare, terrible form of childhood cancer - faced the impossible task of raising $400,000 to pay for treatment at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Following a blitz of media stories on both sides of the Atlantic - Hannah lives in Rotterdam, Netherlands, where the latest neuroblastoma therapy is unavailable - her balky Dutch insurer, IZA, had a change of heart.
December 17, 2009 |
Every day last summer, researchers John Maris and Yael Mosse waited eagerly for e-mail from a 24-year-old woman named Anna O'Connor - or her father, who was closely involved in her fight against a rare cancer. Since her diagnosis at 17, Anna had kept going by trying every treatment she could. One had left her so radioactive that she had to spend two weeks in isolation in a hospital room covered in plastic. Her cancer continued to spread. Now she was the first person who stood to gain from an enormous gamble that Maris started taking 20 years ago at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, betting that genes would offer hope for this disease, called neuroblastoma.
December 10, 2009 |
WHEN YOUR little boy is fighting a brutal form of cancer, the last thing you want is to expose his frail health to anything viral. Last week, when Paul and Maria VanNocker let me tell of their son Kyler's battle to receive a potentially life-saving treatment, his story went viral. This virus could save Kyler, not kill him. It's not just that financial aid has poured in: Everything from a widow's $5 money order to an astounding offer, from an anonymous donor, of at least $35,000 toward Kyler's treatment.
December 2, 2009 |
LOOKING at Kyler VanNocker, whose fifth birthday was Monday, it's impossible to fathom that he could die from the disease he's battling. He's bright-eyed and energetic as he tears around the house he shares in Edgewater Park, N.J., with his parents, Paul and Maria, and siblings Kaden, 6, and Anelise, 3. He's just as active at pre-school, where he's learning his numbers and the alphabet. But the truth is, Kyler has neuroblastoma, a rare and deadly form of childhood cancer that attacks the nervous system, creating tumors throughout the body.
July 29, 2009 |
John Maris has spent more than 20 years trying to understand why some children get an often-fatal cancer called neuroblastoma. There was no obvious environmental factor, and a genetic variation seemed to be involved. But how to find it? Then, he and his colleagues at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia got the chance to try something that would have been unimaginable just a few years earlier: Scan the DNA of hundreds of children stricken with the disease and compare it with DNA from thousands of healthy children in a control group.
May 8, 2008 |
Using DNA samples donated by thousands of patients at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, doctors have found a lead in their hunt for the causes of neuroblastoma, the baffling cancer that killed Alex of Alex's Lemonade Stand at age 8. "Until this study, we had no clue why one child gets this and not another," said the hospital's John Maris, who led the work and was Alex's oncologist. Like Alex Scott, many children who get neuroblastoma are treated with a grueling course of chemotherapy, radiation and stem-cell transplants.
February 19, 2008 |
Patricia Gregory Brophy, 55, of Aston, a nurse-practitioner who cared for critically ill children, died Feb. 12 of colon cancer at her home. Mrs. Brophy earned a bachelor's degree in nursing from Thomas Jefferson University after her two children were in school. She decided to become an oncology nurse when one of her daughter's classmates died of cancer, her husband, Robert, said. She joined the staff of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia when she graduated in 1985. After earning a master's degree in nursing at Widener University, Mrs. Brophy was a clinical nurse specialist and then an oncology nurse-practitioner at Children's Hospital.
June 11, 2006 |
The lemonade was flowing, and so was the spirit of giving yesterday at the "home" lemonade stand of a Main Line girl who in her too-short life started what has become a nationwide fight against childhood cancer. More than 1,000 "Alex's Lemonade Stands" were being held nationwide over the weekend to fund research to cure the diseases that kill about 2,300 children in the United States annually. The parents of Alex Scott, the girl who started it all six years ago with a single front-yard lemonade stand, said yesterday's event at the Penn Wynne Elementary School in Wynnewood was an uplifting testament to their daughter, who lost her own fight against childhood cancer two years ago at age 8. "I wish she was here to enjoy it more than anything," said Liz Scott, who with her husband, Jay, founded the Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation.