Check out the latest news about proton therapy: this week, find out how this state-of-the-art treatment modality is helping patients from all over the world in their fight against cancer.
TWO BRAIN TUMORS FOUND DURING EYE EXAM
Summer Wrigley, 8-year-old, was rushed into surgery after two brain tumors were found during a routine eye exam. She had 95% of the tumors removed, but she may need proton therapy if they start growing back.
Summer underwent surgery one day after the tumors were found, to remove one and half of the other. Her mom Amie said: “It was a grade I tumor which means that it wasn’t cancerous, but she may still need some chemotherapy to get rid of the cells left over. We have been told the chemotherapy could last around 18 months. Summer has been really brave.” Summer had to stay in hospital until February 14th. In a cruel turn of events, the half of the tumor that wasn’t removed in the first surgery started to grow faster than doctors had expected. She had to return to the children’s hospital before she had another surgery on the remaining tumor on March 31. “If the tumor starts to growing back, we may have to go to Florida for proton-beam therapy. The surgeons had to leave some cells behind in the second surgery, they thought she could have gone blind,” Amie said. “The surgeons have been really great. They weren’t messing about and were constantly checking up on her.” Summer is a keen dancer and attends lessons up to 5 times a week, ranging from ballet to modern. Her friends took part in a silly hat day on Friday March 31 to raise money and awareness for brain tumor research. “They did it for Summer. She is so happy that her friends did the fundraising and is sad that she couldn’t be there herself. Summer’s been going to dancing for six years so they’re like a second family to her. They’ve grown up together.” The dance center raised a total of £219 for Brain Tumour Research UK during the event.
PLEA FOR HELP FOR TERMINALLY ILL FATHER
Rafal Tabor, a 40-year-old father-of-two from Jersey who has been diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor, has been offered a glimmer of hope that could save his life.
Rafal, a builder, was healthy and active until four weeks ago. He visited his GP after a sudden bout of numbness in his right hand and leg. The GP signed him off work but days later his condition deteriorated and doctors at the hospital diagnosed him with an aggressive glioma. He was referred to experts in Southampton who said they could operate but warned that if they did he would be unlikely to walk or talk again. However, Rafal has an appointment at a clinic in Germany that offers pioneering proton therapy, but the treatment will cost up to £20,000 and could take two months. His wife Monika, and several of their closest friends, are now asking Islanders to donate money for a treatment which could help save his life. To donate visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/ewa-modzelewski.
GIRL GEARING UP FOR FIGHT OF HER LIFE
Kira Short, a young girl from Maple Ridge in Canada, is facing the fight of her life since she’s been diagnosed with a malignant tumor between her C1 and C2 vertebrae called epithelioid sarcoma.
Kira has been undergoing intense chemotherapy and radiation sessions since 2015. Last June, her oncologist had some great news: the cancer had not spread, and her tumor was shrinking. She seemed well on her way to recovery after another round of chemotherapy and a 3-month stay in Boston for a highly-specialized proton therapy on the horizon. That was also a success, and everything seemed like it was going back to normal, but the shooting neck pain came back in early February. Her dad feared the worst as it was the same chain of events that led to the original cancer diagnosis. While it hasn’t been confirmed that her new tumors are cancerous, her oncologist said that 9 times out of 10 the spread means it’s a strong possibility. Kira has also re-started her chemotherapy protocol, but has limits on how much she can take. A lot of what happens next depends on how she reacts to the latest round of chemotherapy. She’s also taking multiple medications, including some that artificially boost her immune system until it naturally returns. Her dad says that what has been huge is the helping hand of not just Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows residents, but the surrounding communities, as well. “It makes me feel so good knowing there are so many people in our corner as we go to battle this nightmare we call cancer,” he says.