Our four year old son Clay sees a bright future - he told me, "I can't wait to go to Africa and New Jersey someday; I want to have new experiences". Clay is wild, he is fun-but most of all- he is curious and full of ideas. It is our wish that he gets to fulfill his childhood dreams and realize his big ideas later in life.
Earlier this summer Clay was feeling intense pain in his tummy. After a few trips to doctors, we had a sinking feeling there was more going on. An X-ray came back revealing a questionable mass. After several additional tests and a biopsy at MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC), it was revealed he had a large cancerous tumor growing in his abdomen. More specifically, it was Burkitt’s Lymphoma, an aggressive, fast-growing cancer. After the pediatric oncology team confirmed it was contained and treatable, we finally caught our breath. However, we had to act fast. The plan was quickly established and Clay immediately started an intensive chemotherapy regimen. After five cycles of chemo, the tumor mass shrunk down to a size where it was surgically removed. Thankfully, the surgery was successful and after thorough examination, we are gratelful to report that Clay is in remission. Our prayers were answered.
Throughout all of this, Clay has been supported by many superhero friends and family members. He has shown amazing strength and resilience throughout his treatments; his view and the way he lives his life are a simple reminder to us all, to take it ‘one step at a time’. No child should ever have to deal with what he has gone through, his youthful energy was contagious and we are thankful for the strength he gave us.
Our experience with MGHfC has been incredible. The oncologists, surgeons, imaging specialists, child-life specialists, nurse practitioners and the nurses have all been amazing professionals with their coordinated world-class care centered around Clay – they are truly special people and our heroes. They strike a balance between knowing what needs to be done, setting expectations, and delivering the care with the utmost compassion. We spent most of our days since July in either the clinic or overnight within the hospital; therefore, we have formed special relationships with this MGHfC team.
Given our experience, it is an absolute honor to run the Boston Marathon on behalf of MGHfC and the Pediatric Cancer Team. Battling cancer is certainly a fight that demands the endurance of a marathon, but ‘one step at a time'. My training has started and I’m hoping for your support to reach my goal of at least $10,000, which is part of a larger goal to raise over $1 million for this team. Funds raised are directed to cancer care, research, and initiatives that enhance the quality of life for the hospital’s youngest cancer patients. MGHfC is advancing cutting-edge research, increasing the number of clinical studies to improve cure rates, and providing the best treatment possible to pediatric cancer patients.