“I think sometimes it’s hard to think you might actually succeed.” ~ Carl H. June, M.D.
It’s a topic most of us shy away from, as though talking about it might somehow manifest it in our lives. We shield our eyes and look away trying to pretend it doesn’t exist. Unfortunately cancer is real.
About 11,630 children in the United States under the age of 15 will be diagnosed with cancer in 2013. Because of major treatment advances in recent decades, more than 80 percent of children with cancer now survive five years or more. Treatments are getting better, which can give hope to the millions affected across the globe.
A recent trial treatment happening in Pennsylvania may be a beacon of light for this dark winding journey. A six-year-old girl named Emma had been through everything after being diagnosed with leukemia.
“Her leukemia had returned twice and the parents were looking for a miracle,” explains Dr. Stephan A. Grupp.”These are patients that are unfortunately destined to die of the disease in a fairly short amount of time.”
David L. Porter MD points out how the procedure works. “We collect the patient’s T-cells and they are infected with a virus that will genetically change them so that now see and react to the leukemia cells,” he says.
“The virus has been engineered so it can’t cause disease anymore,” Dr. Carl June states. It now reprograms the immune system and attacks the cancer cells. This procedure is groundbreaking and not with out risk. When Emma was first injected with the virus she became extremely ill and almost died.
Then suddenly, the miracle Emma’s parents were praying for happens.
Watch this amazing video to see her story unfold.
Dana Gornall is a mom of three crazy kids and a dog. She works as a licensed massage therapist in Amherst, Ohio and is a certified sign language interpreter. She recently started an apprenticeship with elephantjournal and is looking forward to even more personal growth. While not interpreting, doing massage, or being with her family she loves going to yoga.
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Ed: B. Bemel