Every year, thousands of children and teens with cancer, as well as their parents, siblings, family and friends, visit Dana-Farber, bringing with them inspiring stories of struggle, strength, hope, and perseverance. Here, some of them share their experiences.
Bridgette West sparkled last fall in the "Fight Song" music video created by patients at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. But before the 2-year-old became a social media standout with her dancing, she and her family faced challenges that went far beyond a cancer diagnosis.
Ten years ago Amber DaRosa was a 6-year-old with a big smile and beautiful bald head. A 2004 photo of this young cancer patient posing with Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz was spread across banners, billboards, and advertisements — a powerful symbol of the Red Sox-Jimmy Fund relationship.
On Jan. 24, 2014, the Savage family arrived in Boston from Dublin to have their daughter Alisha treated at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's. "This is our best hope," John Savage says. "We could be here three months. It could be three years."
The strings of colorful beads that line Sophie's bedroom represent milestones in her care at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, where she was treated as a toddler for acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
In this four-part series, Caroline Rider’s email updates to family and friends create a moving chronicle of her son Charlie’s 4-year struggle with ALL, and how the family rose to the many challenges.
To see 11-year-old Jenny skate, it's hard to imagine her parents were once told she might never walk normally again after she was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma when she was 3.
A cancer diagnosis is difficult enough; for the family of a young man just recovering from severe head trauma, it was unthinkable.
At 8 weeks, Griffin was diagnosed with neuroblastoma. Today, he's an energetic 3-year-old and his mom recalls the Jimmy Fund Clinic as a place "where everyone cared about us."
As a sarcoma patient, Matt Shea found the Jimmy Fund Clinic to be a warm, welcoming place, which is one of the reasons why the college senior spent his Fridays there as a volunteer.
Now in remission, brain tumor survivor Nick Frith aims to spend more time at Fenway Park and less time at the hospital when in Boston.
When three-year-old Uri first came to Dana-Farber from his native Panama, he was suffering from a tumor in his right leg that doctors back home believed needed to be amputated. Today, he is living his dream as a broadcaster for the Boston Red Sox.
Jack Coates suffered medulloblastoma as a teen. Today, he receives survivorship care through Dana-Farber and support from family, friends, and a group of fellow brain tumor survivors who understand what he's going through.
Watching her toddler go through treatment for Wilms' tumor was agonizing at times. But even in the darkest moments, Kate and her husband were touched by the support and compassion of those around them.
James Lansing claims that having cancer doesn't make much of a difference in his life. "I still do the same things, only I have a little less energy," the fifth-grader says. "And my friends are cool with it."
Eileen Haynes, a security screener at Manchester Airport in New Hampshire, keeps travelers safe the same way she carefully watched over her five children as a single mom. But no amount of vigilance could protect her son from acute myelogeneous leukemia.
Andrew MacKinlay, a young leukemia survivor, and his mother, Cyndi, have both become passionate advocates at Dana-Farber by sharing their stories of struggle and survival with other kids – and adults – who are battling all types of cancer.
Read Adult Patient Stories
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