Check out the latest news about proton therapy: this week, find out how this state-of-the-art treatment modality is adding years to life and improving quality of life all over the world, at any age.
Help take 3-year-old Pippa for life-saving treatment in the US
Emily Robinson from Southport, UK, is urging people to support a fundraising drive to take Pippa Belle Cole, her 3-year-old niece for urgent treatment in the US. Pippa has been fighting a cancerous brain tumor and has recently undergone brain surgery.
Emily said: “I feel so passionately about promoting this campaign as without the help of others giving donations, Pippa will not survive. She is an inspirational little girl who has gone through more in her three years than most of us will have to go through in a lifetime.”
Pippa was diagnosed with a grade 3 ependymoma in July 2013, when she was only 18 months. Since then, she has undergone several operations, including 10 hours of brain surgery, and completed a 13 month intensive chemotherapy course which she started in August 2013. She underwent many effects from the chemotherapy : she lost all her hair, a lot of weight and her hearing has been permanently affected.
Unfortunately only three months after finishing treatment, MRI results showed that the tumor was back already. She had surgery again, and after four weeks of recovery, her parents now want to fly her to the US for Proton Beam Therapy treatment.
Pippa’s parents are looking to raise more than £10,000 to make the trip possible. They said: “Without this treatment Pippa will not survive. Because of the position of the tumor normal radiotherapy would cause considerable damage to Pippa’s brain.”
93-year-old cancer survivor thanks to PT
Harold Rabin from Chicago lives a happy and active life at 93 years old. He didn’t know he would be around to tell this story 24 years ago when he became the tenth person in the world to receive proton treatment for prostate cancer.
Today, Harold is cancer free and living a life that, without the miracle of science, wouldn’t have seemed possible. “At the time I was diagnosed with prostate cancer, proton therapy had just been developed as a treatment for cancer,” recalls Harold.
Harold was then living not too far from Loma Linda University Medical Center, which, just a few years prior, had established the first hospital-based proton treatment facility in the world. Every day Harold would drive himself to and from treatment. He recalls feeling no pain or discomfort, and never experienced fatigue as each afternoon following his treatment, he had enough energy to play a twice-weekly round of golf or meet friends and family to socialize.
Since Harold’s treatment 24 years ago, the technology surrounding proton therapy has continued to be refined, and countless scientific studies have proven it to be an effective and often preferred treatment for many types of tumors including pediatric, head, neck, chest, breast and prostate.
Today Harold lives a full and active life and continues to drive himself to his many social activities like going to dinner, theater and movies with friends. He volunteers by sharing his experiences with prostate cancer patients.
Little Scarlett off to America for PT to save her sight
Scarlett McCracken is only 10 years old but has already endured a lifetime of heartache.
Just over 4 years ago, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor and underwent lifesaving surgery. Now, the tumor has come back and is threatening her sight.
Her family hoped and prayed the operation would be an end to her traumatic childhood. But active cells left from the operation have been pushing on Scarlett’s optic nerve. As her eyesight has deteriorated acutely, she must now travel to America for Proton Beam Therapy to stop her from going blind.
Scarlett and her mom will be travelling the 4,250 miles to Jacksonville, Florida, or the 4,500 miles to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, in the next two months to receive treatment. It is likely they will be there for eight weeks.
The NHS has funded the £90,000 operation and travel to America but the family need to raise funds to ensure that Scarlett and her mother can afford to stay out there. Scarlett’s mom said: “We are such a close-knit family and, like any other parents, your children are your world and it’s heartbreaking when you cannot do anything for them.
If you would like to donate to Scarlett’s fund, visit gofundme.com/kvzi90.