In early September 2019, we received the unfathomable news that our eight-year-old son's stomachache was actually a rare, grapefruit-sized tumor called an undifferentiated embryonal sarcoma of the liver. David began treatment at CHOP just a few weeks later: six rounds of in-patient chemotherapy over five months, with a successful resection in early December to remove the tumor and the diseased portion of David's liver. David's subsequent scans have each revealed "no evidence of disease" -- beautiful words to an onco family.
David's treatment included ten CHOP admissions (his initial exploratory admission, each of his six rounds of chemo, his surgery, and two fevers) and countless tests and outpatient visits. Through it all, David's extensive team at CHOP -- physicians, nurses, child life and integrative care specialists, music and art therapists, and so many talented individuals both within the hospital and next door at the Buerger Center -- treated David and our family with warmth, compassion, dignity, and respect. We are honored and humbled that CHOP asked David to be a Parkway ambassador this fall.
While "Avengers, assemble," was the theme of David's journey, we were regularly reminded of another lesson: it takes a village. David's Village -- our family's village -- was and is everywhere: at CHOP, in our suburban Philadelphia neighborhood and schools, among our families and friends new and old around the block, across miles, and on social media. You have carried us through our greatest challenge, and we are grateful for the love, support, and selflessness of so many.
We hope to pay that generosity forward as an ambassador family to the Parkway Run & Walk, and we have committed to raising at least $7,500 (but hope to reach at least $12,000!) all of which will go directly to CHOP's Cancer Center. We do so in solidarity with the families fighting the fight and all of the villages supporting them, in memory of too many loved ones unfairly gone, and in honor of David's Village -- every single one of you.Together we can reach that goal, and someday allow every pediatric cancer patient, and everyone who loves that child, to hear those three letters that mean so much: "N.E.D."
Although we won’t be gathering with our friends and family on the Parkway, we’ll still be logging miles to raise funds. This September, Rachel plans to run ten 5Ks -- one to acknowledge each of David's ten CHOP admissions. We hope that, if circumstances permit, you will kindly support us with a donation toward our goal. You are also welcome to join the team and our fundraising effort! Finally, we'd love if you would join David's Village and run or walk a 5K or a 2K with us (virtually) on Saturday morning, September 12 (repeat date: Saturday morning, September 26) — or whenever in September is convenient for you — because a future without cancer begins with us!
Why This Is So Important to Our Team:
Cancer Doesn't Stop, And Neither Will We:The world slowed down, but caregivers are still hearing the words “your child has cancer.”
Childhood Cancer Cures Begin at CHOP: U.S. News & World Report ranks CHOP’s Cancer Center as the #1 pediatric oncology program in the nation. Every day, CHOP’s Cancer Center team is redefining what a cancer diagnosis means for a child. The center offers the most advanced therapies available anywhere in the world, including cutting-edge clinical trials that reprogram the body’s own immune system to fight cancer.
How You Can Help
Make an Immediate Impact Today:100% of every donation to the 2020 Parkway Run & Walk: Virtual Edition, presented by Citadel, will help CHOP make important breakthroughs in understanding the causes of childhood cancer, developing new treatments that will improve outcomes for children, and one day may lead to a cure for childhood cancer.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. Each of you is an integral member of David's Village, and we are grateful.