WEEKLY WEB REVIEW – WEEK 16

Check out the latest news about proton therapy: this week, find out how this state-of-the-art treatment modality is rescuing young children from lethal tumors and is helping them regain control of their life.

BOY WITH DOWN SYNDROME GETS PROTON THERAPY

Cade Weneger is a 13-year-old boy from Oklahoma, USA with Down syndrome. Despite repeated diagnoses of cancer, his family is keeping hope, and some of that hope comes from the promise of proton therapy.

Cade first felt pain in his hip during gym in October 2013. After a visit to his paediatrician, he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called sarcoma. It was already the Wegener family’s second cancer diagnosis, as Cade’s mom had also battled cancer. “Dropped a pretty big bomb on us and our family, and left us with not a whole lot of hope at that point,” his dad Chris said. “They actually called us that night and said, ‘We’re admitting you right now.’” As Cade’s tumor was growing up against his spine, when time came for radiation, he needed the most targeted type of treatment. “In fact, there was a nerve root that they were afraid if they damaged that that he would walk with a limp the rest of his life,” his dad said. Most radiation shoots like a shotgun, flooding the entire area, but proton therapy is more specific. People travel from all over the world to get that kind of treatment, but fortunately Cade had the opportunity to go to Oklahoma’s ProCure proton therapy center not far from home. Last Wednesday, he finished his treatments at the center and got to ring the bell and gave a speech. “Everyone says, ‘How do you do it?’ We’re leaning on the rock,” Chris said.

Source: http://www.news9.com/story/31778579/berryhill-boy-with-down-syndrome-cancer-gets-proton-therapy

 

CANCER GIRL RECEIVES A HERO’S WELCOME

Cameron McCarthy from Pennsylvania, USA is a 7-year-old girl battling a rare form of bone cancer called Ewing sarcoma. She has received a hero’s welcome when she returned home after several months of treatment.

Cameron was diagnosed with cancer last May when her parents noticed there was something wrong with her eye. She was then taken out of school and spent months in the hospital for treatment. Last Monday morning, after undergoing her 17th and final round of chemotherapy, Cameron finally left the hospital. “She’s been through 17 rounds of chemo,” her dad Mike said “She also had proton therapy done, 31 times. She’s tough.” A stretch limo with a police and fire escort took her home where she was greeted by the entire community. Cameron’s first stop during her homecoming was her school where classmates held up signs showing their support. She then finally returned to her home where she was greeted by her family, friends and more supporters, including a local celebrity. While Cameron was too tired to talk to NBC10, her parents told us her prognosis looks good. “In the beginning you feel like you’re never going to get there so for her to have her last chemotherapy today, is amazing,” her mom said. “She was up for the challenge I guess.”

Source: http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Aston-Delaware-County-Pennsylvania-Girl-Cancer-Chemotherapy–376129211.html

 

SUCCESSFUL TREATMENT FOR BOY WITH BRAIN TUMOR

Edward Norman, 9-year-old, is battling back to health after travelling thousands of miles for treatment to remove his brain tumor.

Edward was diagnosed last year after developing sight problems, when his optician discovered a tumor growing on his optic nerve. He underwent and emergency surgery to remove the tumor, but surgeons could not get it all out without risking his sight. Although the tumor was not cancerous, he still needed the same type of treatment as someone with cancer, and his parents were told that Edward’s best option was proton therapy rather than standard radiotherapy. As the specialist treatment is not widely available in the UK, an NHS panel agreed to fund the treatment in the US, where Edward and his family spent 6 weeks this year. “Edward had treatment every week day and he suffered a few headaches after the first few sessions, but after that he was OK,” his parents said. He is now doing well although his pituitary gland has been affected by the tumor and he needs to take medicine to replace what his body is not producing. He will also need scans and eye tests every 3 months and will continue to be closely monitored but he has now returned to school and is doing well. Edward’s parents are now helping raise awareness of brain tumors and the importance of supporting research into their causes and treatment. His mom said: “I believe brain tumors are the biggest cancer killer in children and the under 40′s. More funding is needed to research these cancers as only a small proportion of the budget goes into this.”

Source: http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/14433763.Family_of_boy_with_brain_tumour_return_following_successful_treatment_in_the_US/

WEEKLY WEB REVIEW – WEEK 15

Check out the latest news about proton therapy: this week, find out how this state-of-the-art treatment modality is helping cancer patients of all ages and revealing life vocations.

SCHOLARSHIP FOR BRAIN CANCER PATIENT IN REMISSION

Carter Bowman, 17 years old, was diagnosed with stage 3 brain cancer when he was 13. Three surgeries and several proton radiation and chemotherapy treatments later, he is now in remission.

Carter doesn’t have time to dwell because he has a life to live, which includes bringing joy to others. That’s why he founded The Carter N. Bowman Foundation: to provide stress-free and enjoyable opportunities to young cancer patients during their treatment. His mom said Carter does not allow his diagnosis to control his life: “In some regard, both my husband and I believe his ability to accomplish what he has is because of what he went through. It forced him to grow up faster than his peers and contribute to society. After treatments, he coached his seventh-grade football team, and while he was going through his treatment, he was already planning his foundation.” During his 8 weeks of proton treatment, Carter rode the train back and forth between home and the University of Pennsylvania proton therapy center. That’s when he realized not all patients were able to distract themselves from their diagnosis: “Some of the kids weren’t as fortunate as I was,” he said. “I was able to come home and debrief, but they are sitting in their hotel room the entire time. I wanted to give back to them, so they could live a normal childhood despite all their hardships they are going through… to go to the zoo, the movies, or the museum, and to just be a little kid.” On April 10, Carter was among 600 recipients to receive a $1,000 college scholarship from The Carson Scholars Fund, which honors selected scholar recipients who “exemplify outstanding academic achievement and humanitarian qualities.” “I believe everything does happen for a reason,” Carter said. “I’m starting to understand why I have to go through this. I can help others in return. After college, I want to become a lawyer or a politician to hopefully give back in that way.”

Source: http://www.ydr.com/story/news/local/2016/04/13/brain-cancer-patient-remission-honored-scholarship/82938310/

 

AYVLIN’S PROTON THERAPY DIARY

Ayvlin Jeffery is an eight-your-old young girl with a real joy for life. But recently, this joy has been hampered by some medical difficulties.

After four months of constant tailbone pain and numerous doctor visits with no answers forthcoming, Ayvlin was brought into the emergency room last February. Test after test revealed no new information and she was once again sent home with pain medication and an MRI appointment. The scans ultimately showed a large tumor at the base of her spine, which required complex surgery. Despite the uncertainty of what she was facing and how scary everything was, she remained brave and continued to entertain all the family that surrounded her. The pathology report from the surgery diagnosed her with a grade 1 myxopapillary ependymoma, which determined that proton therapy was needed. Last March, Ayvlin and her mom will thus fly from Canada to Florida for proton therapy in Jacksonville. Ayvlin’s case was approved for a government grant to cover the cost of treatment, but her parents have to raise funds to cover travel and lodging costs as well as other general living expenses that will accumulate over the duration of the 2 months of treatments, all the more since they will have  reduced income due to the time off from work they have to take. Make a donation if you think they should not have to worry about money when they are focusing their attention on their daughter’s recovery.

Source: https://www.youcaring.com/ayvlin-jeffery-534287

 

A MAN’S DETERMINATION GIVES HIM PT

When Jacques René Sirois was diagnosed with prostate cancer back in 2014, he knew what he wanted, and he didn’t mind waiting for it.

“I’m not a surgery type of person,” says Jaques René. His brother, diagnosed at 56 with prostate cancer, had undergone a prostatectomy: “He had surgery—I remember the pain he went through. He’s still suffering the effects at 64,” he says. “Another gentleman I know had radiation. He’s a total mess now.” Then he met someone who had received proton therapy at the first treatment center of the USA in Loma Linda, California, and he began looking into the option. At his doctor’s office, he was offered a range of treatment alternatives, but proton therapy wasn’t on the list. But Jaques René had already found Provision Center for Proton Therapy himself and made his decision. “After the consult I said, ‘I know what it’s going to be.’”. However, his insurance denied coverage for proton therapy, so he decided to wait for Medicare, taking hormone therapy in hopes of keeping the cancer at bay until then. The plan worked. His PSA level went down, and he was able to wait until insurance kicked in, and he could travel to Knoxville. He traveled from Franklin, a town just outside of Nashville, each week alone for treatment. But at Provision, “you’re not going to sit here by yourself. There have been nothing but positive things coming here,” he concludes.

Source: http://protonstories.com/jacques-s/

WEEKLY WEB REVIEW – WEEK 14

Check out the latest news about proton therapy: this week, find out how this state-of-the-art treatment modality is revealing heart warming solidarity and giving patients new options in their battle against cancer.

ANYA MORRIS APPEAL REACHES OVER £35,000

A charity ball to raise money and help Anya Morris, a 6-year-old girl from West Leeds in the UK, receive life-saving proton therapy treatment for her brain tumor has reached more than £35,000.

Anya has been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor called chordoma at the beginning of the year. She underwent two surgeries and was then flown out to Oklahoma, USA for proton therapy in early February with her parents and two siblings. She is now undergoing her final week of treatment. Although flights and accommodations for Anya and her parents were funded by the NHS, the family has had to pay substantial living costs as well as the cost of bringing their two other children. A charity ball was organized at the end of January at the South Leeds Stadium to raise funds and help the family face the cost of the young girl’s treatment. Anya’s dad thanked everyone for their support: “We have continued to be amazed by people’s reaction to Anya’s situation. The final amount of £35,160 has left us in shock. The money means we have been able to let Anya enjoy whatever Oklahoma has to offer and make this experience a truly positive one. We have a long road in front of us when we get back to Leeds assessing any success and monitoring Anya’s condition until we hopefully get the all clear. Anya’s journey does not end when we leave America. We would like to thank everyone for their continued support and efforts.” Check out Anya’s Page on Facebook for more: https://www.facebook.com/Anyas-page-1518464378467657/?fref=ts

Source: http://westleedsdispatch.com/anya-morris-charity-ball/

 

FIREFIGHTER BATTLING CANCER

Dave Alberts, a 57-year-old firefighter-paramedic from Washington, USA is fighting prostate cancer and will be receiving non-invasive proton therapy treatment at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance this spring.

Dave has saved countless lives, but the one he wants to save now is his own. He was diagnosed this January with semi-aggressive prostate cancer, but his journey truly began last September, when he went in for an annual physical and his prostate-specific antigen (PSA) registered higher than normal. As a precaution, he had a biopsy done and the cancer was detected. Dave chose to treat his cancer with state-of-the-art proton beam therapy rather than a potentially crippling surgery. One of the reasons was that a friend of his was treated with protons 8 years ago for the same cancer, and he’s been doing great since then. “The quality of life is much different,” he said. However, he was denied coverage by his insurance, and he has to pay for the expensive treatment out of his pocket. A GoFundMe account called “TeamDaveA has been set up by his family online to raise 55.000$ and help him cover the costs: https://www.gofundme.com/teamdavea. Dave will begin a heavy regimen of treatments later this spring of 20-minute sessions once a day, Monday to Friday for 44 days. As he continues his journey to improve his quality of life, he also stresses the importance of educating others about the “stealthiness” of prostate cancer and to seek early detection.

Source: http://www.snoho.com/html/stories_2016/040616_dave_alberts_profile.html

 

A MAN OF SERVICE FIGHTING CANCER

68-year-old Rich Kiselewksy from Delaware, USA has led a life defined by a legacy of service since he enlisted in the Marine Corps after high school, and is remaining dedicated to service even in his own personal battle with prostate cancer.

Since being diagnosed with the disease in spring 2015, he advocates for early detection and works to educate others on the benefits of proton therapy, the method of radiation he elected to pursue following his extensive research on the approach, as well as the center at which he underwent treatment, ProCure Proton Therapy in Somerset. Since successfully completing 44 sessions of radiation treatment at ProCure last August with positive results, Rich is high on the future. “I was a little tired at first, but I feel good now – so far so good,” he said. “If sharing my experience helps even one person in their fight with cancer, it’s been well worth it.” Recently starting a new part-time job as a certified firearms instructor and safety office at a firing range near Flemington, Rich is delighted to return to what he does best. “I wanted to share my expertise and am excited to be back to work again doing something I’ve always enjoyed,” he said. As for words of advice for others, he hopes people will choose to live well now and opt for action: “If you sit down and do nothing, life goes by quickly. You have to stay mentally and physically active and share what you know with others in a positive way. I encourage others to contribute and do something good for those around them, even if it’s only for one other person. If everyone would do that, that positive energy would spread and things would get better.”

Source: http://www.app.com/story/news/local/how-we-live/boomers/2016/03/29/hunterdon-man-led-life-defined-legacy-service/82411468/

WEEKLY WEB REVIEW – WEEK 13

Check out the latest news about proton therapy: this week, find out how this state-of-the-art treatment modality is allowing cancer patients to have a new chance at life and develop new projects.

BOY WITH BRAIN TUMOR NEEDS LIFE-SAVING PT

Harley Hall, a 10-year-old from Letchworth, UK who was diagnosed with a brain tumor 5 weeks ago, is appealing for help with his family to fund life-saving treatment.

Harley started complaining of headaches in early February, then two weeks later his left hand felt strange. After a visit to the doctor, he was told he was playing too much on his PlayStation and that he may need glasses. But soon after, Harley’s mouth suddenly dropped and he began slurring his words while he was at school. That’s when an MRI scan found a tumor the size of a small orange in his brain. Harley had surgery to remove the cancerous tumor the following day. His grandparents said : “Harley has been coping better than any of us – he is such a lovely boy and he has dealt with everything remarkably.” His dad Jason said: “Everyone is so pleased and amazed at how well he is doing. The speech therapist and physiotherapist are both overwhelmed by his progress.” But further treatment is now needed in the form of proton therapy, which is not currently available in the UK. Harley has flown to Oklahoma in the United States last week with his parents for the two-month course of treatment. ‘Harley’s Brain Tumour Fund’ has been set up on the GoFundMe website in a bid to raise much-needed cash to support Harley and his family. “The flights for two carers and Harley’s treatment are funded by the NHS,” his dad said. “However, we need to consider parking costs, fuel costs, loss of earnings, new passports, visas, insurance, and the cost of living while away and still paying bills in the UK. To help us achieve our goal of getting back to as close to normal as possible, financial help would be greatly appreciated.” To make a donation, visit www.gofundme.com/harleyhall66.

Source: http://www.thecomet.net/news/family_of_letchworth_boy_diagnosed_with_brain_tumour_appeal_for_help_to_fund_life_saving_treatment_1_4476982

 

RESEARCH LED ALAN SIMPSON TO CHOOSE PT

When Alan Simpson, 63 years old, was diagnosed with prostate cancer, his first instinct was to investigate his options. After reviewing more than 100 medical papers, he decided on PT: minimal side effects and positive outcomes helped make his decision.

As an attorney, Alan enjoys research: “That’s all I was doing for weeks,” he recalls. PT was not among the original options Alan discussed with his urologist in 2015, he learned about it through his personal network and diligent online research. Minimizing potential side effects of prostate cancer treatment such as impotence and incontinence weighed heavily in his decision. That year, he decided with his wife to travel 400 miles to the Scripps Proton Therapy Center for treatment. Alan’s proactive role in understanding the risks and options for his prostate cancer was a journey that changed him profoundly. It was a chance to take inventory, develop new friendships and forge meaningful ties with others fighting cancer, including fellow patients and their families. During treatment, Alan only experienced slight fatigue in the final two weeks, and slight burning during urinary and sexual functions. “Considering the great outcomes, the side effects are a minimal inconvenience,” Alan says. For anyone considering prostate cancer treatment options, he offers this simple advice: “Study this for yourself.” Being actively involved in your treatment and understanding your choices are key. Today Alan is back in the office, managing a rigorous schedule. He is free of cancer and grateful to his doctor and the center’s entire staff. “Having prostate cancer should not be the end of the world,” he says.

Source: https://www.scripps.org/news_items/5715-thorough-research-led-alan-simpson-to-choose-proton-therapy

 

NEW MOM FIRST PATIENT AT ORLANDO HEALTH

As Orlando Health was putting the finishing touches on its $25 million Proton Therapy unit at the UFHealth Cancer Center, a tumor began taking root in Rhea Birusingh’s brain.

After three years of trying, Rhea, 36 years old, and her husband were finally pregnant with their first child. So when she started having blurry vision and then double vision, everyone chalked it up to the pregnancy. No one suspected that a tumor had settled in the left side of her brain, close to her optic nerve, feeding on her pregnancy hormones. Then she went to an ophthalmologist:  “It took less than a minute for her to find out what was going on,” she said. Within a week, the pediatric pathologist was in the operating room, delivering her son at 34 weeks, so that doctors could figure out a treatment plan for her without harming the baby. The day after giving birth on Feb. 19, Rhea had an MRI that showed that the tumor was in a bad location for surgery or traditional radiation. “When I got the diagnosis, some of my colleagues said I would have to go Texas, Boston or New York to get the best care. I was wondering how I was going to leave my newborn baby, the child I had wanted all my life, and go across the country,” she said. But her oncologist had other plans for her, as she was the perfect candidate for proton therapy. On Wednesday April 6th, Rhea will thus become the first patient to be treated at Orlando Health’s new proton therapy center. “Of course I’m nervous and scared, but I’m very optimistic,” Rhea said. “To know proton therapy is the state-of-art treatment for my tumor and only 45 minutes away from home, I think is a major blessing.”

Source : http://www.orlandosentinel.com/health/os-orlando-health-opens-proton-therapy-center-20160401-story.html