A few weeks ago, Ethen’s parents received the best news – his scans showed no traces of cancer.
In early April 2017, Ethen was diagnosed with Stage 4 High Risk Neuroblastoma at 13 months old. After five rounds of chemo, Ethen had surgery to remove the remainder of the tumor in his abdomen and chest. He then had a stem cell transplant, 2½ weeks of radiation, and began antibody therapy. He made it through two out of five rounds of treatment in the hospital.
The third round of therapy was very difficult and landed him in the PICU, so he had to stop antibody therapy immediately. Ethen’s condition worsened considerably and his family was uncertain what would happen to him. After receiving a trial drug that had been tested to counteract the side effects that Ethen encountered, his body responded and he began his road to recovery. This antibody therapy for Ethen was a landmark case in neuroblastoma research in improving survival rates, but it is still a treatment that is terribly painful for patients.
“This is why more research is needed and why we support research funding going to the hospital,” said Christie. “We have been very encouraged by the Isabella Santos Foundation funding the Rare & Solid Tumor Program at Levine Children’s Hospital. The amazing care provided by LCH with ISF’s impact is significant for patients and families, and will lead to better cancer research.”
After a challenging road, Ethen has recovered and is now on a trial drug for the next two years to prevent a relapse. He has come a long way since his diagnosis. Now 2 ½ years old, Ethen loves playing with his two older siblings, building towers, doing crafts, putting his imagination to good use, being silly and making people laugh.
“We are so thankful to have the entirety of Ethen’s treatment at Levine Children’s Hospital. The team went beyond providing excellent medical care by also caring for my family,” said Christie. “When a child is going through cancer, the entire family is impacted and the siblings become silent warriors, which is why the care and support we all received at the hospital was so invaluable. It really makes a difference for families.”
Stay updated through this Ethen’s Fight Facebook page where his parents post updates via their blog.