Cure Childhood Cancer

CURE Blog


September 22nd, 2012

CURE Childhood Cancer Honors Nolan Blake

September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Join us today, September 22, 2012 as CURE Childhood Cancer honors CURE Kid Nolan Blake. Join our fight as CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time! Donate to Nolan’s fund.

Nolan started vomiting in the mornings over the summer in 2009, I took him to his pediatrician thinking he just had the stomach flu. Only this stomach flu continued to get worse. Nolan got to the point where he wasn’t just throwing up in the mornings, it was all day. He was loosing weight and having headaches. I continued to take Nolan back and forth to the pediatrician in hopes we could find out what was wrong. His pediatrician referred us to a GI specialist in Atlanta and after going over all Nolan’s symptoms, his GI doctor decided we needed to do a CT scan STAT.

I will never forget October 8, 2009. Nolan went in for a routine CT scan of his brain. After the scan he was handed a balloon and he skipped down the hallway where we were encouraged to wait in a sedation room. I was shocked the nurse was not letting us leave the hospital, and I knew then something was wrong.

I got a call from the doctor stating Nolan had a mass on his brain. They believed it was a tumor. Within two hours Nolan was in the MRI machine getting a scan of his brain and spine. Dr. Reisner met me in the hallway that night with the terrifying news that Nolan not only had one tumor but three. One in his brain, two in his spine and a sugar coating of cancer all throughout his brain and spine.

October 13, 2009 Nolan had a craniotomy to remove the largest tumor. It took about 7 hours including time for anesthesia and recovery. After surgery Nolan was unable to walk or eat by mouth for 18 months and he had only 4 weeks to recover before starting treatment. He had 30 radiation treatments, chemo before each one. After completing radiation he had 6 months of inpatient chemo. We were all more than thrilled when Nolan finished treatment in December 2010 with clean scans.

3 months later Nolan went in for routine scans and we found out he had relapsed with 2 tumors. We were discouraged but we were ready to fight again. The doctors were able to keep Nolan’s tumors stable for 14 months with an outpatient chemo until he relapsed again on May 1, 2012. He is now on a metronomic chemotherapy plan where he takes chemo daily. He is such an inspiration to all of us! He always has a smile on his face and is ready for his next adventure. Nolan enjoys visiting his friends in the hospital, playing with the therapy dogs, playing tennis with his friends from Georgia Tech, watching spongebob, coloring, fishing, playing with hotwheels, watching Nascar (especially Carl Edwards/Aflac) and swimming.

Thank you everyone for supporting Nolan!  We hope and pray that someday there will be a cure for ALL these kids!


September 21st, 2012

CURE Childhood Cancer Honors Olivia Pauleon

September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Join us today, September 21, 2012 as CURE Childhood Cancer honors CURE Kid Olivia Pauleon. Join our fight as CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time! Donate to Olivia’s fund.

Olivia Inez Pauleon
7/30/05 – 8/21/12

September 21, 2012, marks Olivia’s 1 month angelversary. One month ago today, she took her last breath in her mommy’s arms. She fought CANCER for 28 months! She fought long and hard, always doing continuous chemos. Many different kind of chemos trying to find the perfect one that would work for her. Unfortunately, in the end none did enough to save her life.

On April 9, 2010, when Olivia was age 4, she was diagnosed with the rare cancer called Hepatoblastoma. That is childhood cancer of the liver.

Olivia’s biggest tumor was baseball sized and in the middle of her liver, all wrapped in her portal vein making her a resection failure, without even getting to try. There were also 2 smaller tumors noted and her AFP was 577K.

On April 9th, 2010, she got her IV port-a-cath and began her first chemo therapies, later that same day. She used many chemo drugs over the last 28 months. Vincristine, FU-5, Doxorubicin, Cisplatin, Carboplatin, Irinotecan, Celebrax, Thalidomide, and Avastin. Always at least one of them, if not multiples at the same time, for the entire 28 months she fought cancer.

Earlier this year we tried an experimental procedure with the adult liver doctors at Emory. They came over to Egleston and did chemo-embolization on Liv. That is where they inject the chemo directly INTO the tumors. They had never done this on a child before and Olivia was the first! She was happy to be a pioneer in potentially helping other children down the line. The first emoblization seemed to work a bit. We followed up with a 2nd embolization 2 months later. Unfortunately this one wasn’t successful for Olivia. One tumor turned into several and her numbers kept rising.

In early August it was beginning to be evident that Olivia’s body was getting tired of fighting cancer. For no apparent reason it wouldn’t keep her HGB or platelets in normal ranges so she needed multiple blood and platelet transfusions. She wasn’t ever able to start the new chemo called Xeloda like we had planned because her numbers wouldn’t stabilize.

She became an angel far too soon for our liking. She had just celebrated her 7th birthday in Rockstar style! We needed much more time with her. She was our best 7 years. We want her story to “Liv” on forever.

Cancer Sucks – Livi Rocks! Forever 7 our sweet girl.


September 21st, 2012

CURE Childhood Cancer Honors Jackson Austin

September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Join us today, September 21, 2012 as CURE Childhood Cancer honors CURE Kid Jackson Austin. Join our fight as CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time! Donate to Jackson’s fund.

Jackson celebrated his ninth birthday this year. He had some of his best friends over to spend the night and they stayed up way too late, played video games and ate junk food. All the things that little boys are supposed to do. I can’t begin to describe how it makes my heart smile for my son to be able to enjoy his childhood again.

Jackson was diagnosed with ALL when he was almost 4 and spent the next 4 years of his life on chemotherapy. Just now is he beginning to enjoy a childhood life where he doesn’t go to the oncologist, the occupational therapist, the physical therapist or some other doctor. He gets to play football in the yard. He gets to hang out with his friends in his room and not worry about ‘giving them’ his cancer. He gets to be his kind of normal.

Throughout Jack’s four years on chemo, we met some wonderful people along the way. Words can not begin to describe how a child’s face will light up when they think they are going to the doctor only to walk into the clinic lobby to find the CURE ladies handing out pillow cases and setting up an art table. We still have several pillow cases that Jackson uses today, and art that was made in the clinic proudly decorates our house. Things like those welcome distractions meant so much to a worried mother and a nervous little boy. Not only does CURE provide such fun things for the patients to do, they also provide valuable research grants for the doctors to continue to strive to find a cure so that our children will not have to go through this journey any more. So that no more parents have to hear those words, ‘Your child has cancer’.

As we celebrate Childhood Cancer Month, we also choose to celebrate CURE. They provided so much for us, as well as other families, while we were going through chemo. Every penny helps when it comes to our children. Please help us find a cure today!


September 21st, 2012

CURE Childhood Cancer Honors Jordan Hill

September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Join us today, September 21, 2011 as CURE Childhood Cancer honors CURE Kid Jordan Hill. Join our fight as CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time! Donate to Jordan’s fund.

Almost seven years ago, our sweet Jordan lost her battle with leukemia. She was in the 8th grade when she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in February of 2004. Her diagnosis was more complicated when she tested out as having hypodiploid ALL, which presents a higher rate of relapse and a lower promise of survival. The treatment protocol for a hypodiploid patient is more intense than for a normal ALL diagnosis.

Jordan was a shy, quiet and considerate teenager with a beautiful smile and sweet disposition. She was funny, silly, smart and a great friend. She loved her family, holidays, cheerleading, vacations, friends, school, hugs, and had a kind heart. Jordan was wise beyond her years and wanted to be an elementary school teacher when she grew up.

Jordan always had a smile, and no matter how terrible she felt from the unrelenting side effects of her chemotherapy, she would never let anyone see the true side of her cancer. She never gave up hope that she would triumph over her leukemia. She endured 21 months of an aggressive chemotherapy and radiation treatment program, but in the end, even that didn’t prove to be enough to overcome this horrifying childhood disease. Jordan continually displayed bravery and an amazing grace during her illness.

While still undergoing treatment, Jordan relapsed and passed away very suddenly on November 14, 2005, from complications of her destructive chemo treatment program. Her body was worn out and had been abused by the very thing that was attempting to save her life. She was 15 years old. Jordan is loved beyond measure and is missed every day.

We are honored that CURE Childhood Cancer will once again highlight our precious Jordan in their fight against childhood cancers. Our hope is that Jordan’s story and her smile will touch many hearts and encourage everyone to help support the September initiative, “CURE’s Kids Conquer Childhood Cancer One Day at a Time.”


September 20th, 2012

CURE Childhood Cancer Honors Shelby Jefferson

September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Join us today, September 20, 2012 as CURE Childhood Cancer honors CURE Kid Shelby Jefferson. Join our fight as CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time! Donate to Shelby’s fund.

Shelby was born March 30, 2006 and was a typical baby except for a slight lazy eye that we were told not to be worried about yet. When she was 17 months old, and I was 7 months pregnant with her baby brother, our family (including older sister Emilia) flew to the Midwest to have a last visit with my grandmother before she passed away from colon cancer.

Shelby had a runny nose and seemed just generally miserable through most of our trip, even falling out of a camper straight onto her head. We rushed her to the ER and were told that her eyes looked fine; there was no concussion. Returning home she still seemed miserable so we took her to the pediatrician multiple times. She got so sick that she threw up anything she ate, slept nearly all day and stopped walking. We got a doctor in the ER who listened to ALL the symptoms, and sent us for a CT scan. We learned she had severe hydrocephalus and they thought there was a mass inside as well. The Army hospital was not equipped to handle pediatric patients and we were transferred to MCG Children’s Hospital for proper care where an EVD was placed and she was sedated.

An MRI was done later that day where it was clearly seen there was tumor blocking her ventricles and wrapping itself around her basal artery. Two surgeries were done to completely remove the tumor, which was determined to be stage 3 cancerous and would require 30 days of radiation treatments.

A total of two weeks were spent in the picu before we moved to the ped’s cancer floor. We learned she has right facial dyslpasia, right side body weakness and a swallowing dysfunction. We were told she most likely would not walk or talk again.

She did not get the memo.

Two weeks later she pointed to her door and said “Go” very clearly. Shelby started walking with the help of a walker just after her second birthday. And now, at six, she walks (or runs) on her own. Most people have no idea of her past since she compensates so well. Shelby just started in a “regular” first grade class, but sits with her left side facing the teacher so she can see and hear better (she is also deaf on the right side) and is given extra time for writing as this is still difficult for her using her left hand.

Through everything, Shelby has kept her sweet smile and great attitude. She is a wonderful testimony to many other cancer patients that we meet. She has no fear of the elderly and seems to have an almost sixth sense when meeting other cancer patients. She will seek out strangers just to touch their hand and it’s only later that we learn they or someone they know are going through treatment or just got a diagnosis. When life gave Shelby lemons, she made lemonade and shares its sweetness with everyone she knows!!


September 20th, 2012

CURE Childhood Cancer Honors Eron Bing

September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Join us today, September 20, 2012 as CURE Childhood Cancer honors CURE Kid Eron Bing. Join our fight as CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time! Donate to Eron’s fund.

Eron Bing was born August 14, 1997, in Augusta, Georgia. He had always been a healthy child full of love and adventure. His favorite thing to do was go fishing every Sunday with his dad and siblings. After I brought my family to live in Atlanta for better opportunities that all seemed to change overnight.

On February 2, 2010, I received a phone call from Eron’s school (Bear Creek Middle School) saying he fell. His brother Eric called me after picking him up from school and said “I think Eron leg is broken.” After the ambulance came Eron was taken to Children Hospital. The doctors rushed to take x-rays of his leg and sure enough his left femur was broken. Eron went to surgery on February 3rd and a rod was placed in his femur from his hip down to his knee. April came and it was time for his first post up appointment and everything went well so he went back to school and finished off a great year.

Later, on in July Eron was complaining of severe pain in his hip and also we had noticed he had starting limping. I made an appointment to see his doctor and when Eron got there the doctor ordered a x-ray of Eron’s leg. When he looked at it there was an area on his hip that worried him. So the doctor called me in to his office and said we needed to do a biopsy of that area. He did not want to waste any time so the next day we went to the hospital and Eron had his biopsy. After the test was complete the doctor came in with the results and the look on his face was frightening. He told my son Eric and I that it was cancer known as Ewing’s Sarcoma. August fourth Eron received his first round of chemotherapy treatment. He went through fifteen rounds of chemo and thirty days of radiation treatment. Eron finished his last round of chemo on April sixteenth he went back to school in his wheelchair because he had lost about three inches in his leg. That did not stop my baby boy two weeks later he started walking with his crutches. When November came Eron had to go back to the hospital for surgery to have a partial hip replacement, because all of the chemo and radiation had weakened his hip bone.

Next, a few weeks after his surgery he was able to go back to school and he was excited because his doctor was able to get all three inches back in Eron’s leg. Now my son walks without any help no crutches or wheelchair needed. He will be starting high school this August a day before his birthday. Eron never did ask mommy why this had happen to him but, sometimes he would say “mommy I am so tired,” and as a mother and a parent I have never felt so helpless or angry at times. Only because I could not make my child feel better. Now Eron goes every four months for his checkup. The doctor told us one day “that if it was not for Eron’s injury we would not have ever known that he had cancer until it was too late.”

I hope I can one day find peace and not worry so much about will my son cancer will ever come back. I am so glad that Eron has no fear of anything. He is so outgoing and full of life. I pray for my family everyday and I am so proud and thankful for my baby boy Eron Bing the cancer survivor. Mommy loves you.


September 19th, 2012

CURE Childhood Cancer Honors Caleb Fornal

September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Join us today, September 19, 2012 as CURE Childhood Cancer honors CURE Kid Caleb Fornal. Join our fight as CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time! Donate to Caleb’s fund.

Caleb Fornal was an active four year old boy who loved playing soccer and golf. It wasn’t until a soccer injury had prompted his mother to question the orthopedic doctor that the unthinkable was a reality. After his fall, he spent the weekend going to an urgent care, children’s hospital, orthopedic doctor. Over the course of the weekend his arm injury quickly spread to his leg, where it left him unable to walk. Caleb’s mother questioned the doctor and refused to cast his leg knowing something else was wrong. After returning to the children’s hospital and a routine CBC was run she was told the most devastating news a mother could hear. ” We believe your child has leukemia.” On March 13, 2012, their lives came to a shattering halt, he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

That day Caleb began his fight. The fight of his life.  He began induction therapy and encountered a big bump in the road. Just two weeks into treatment Caleb got a critical case of pancreatitis from one of the chemos. He battled through that and just proving how strong he is. By the end of the month Caleb reached the goal of remission, but was told more heart shattering news. His genetic testing showed he is hypodiploid and will require more intense treatment for the next three years.

Caleb is doing very well with treatment now. He has so many supporters, family and friends worldwide. He continues to share his contagious smile to all those around them and Fight Strong!

You can follow Caleb’s journey at
www.facebook.com/kickinitwithcaleb or www.helpcurecaleb.blogspot.com


September 19th, 2012

CURE Childhood Cancer Honors Maddie Briscoe

September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Join us today, September 19, 2012 as CURE Childhood Cancer honors CURE Kid Maddie Briscoe. Join our fight as CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time! Donate to Maddie’s fund.

Maddie was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuoroblastoma the week of Labor day 2010 after complaining of back pain. After a couple of visits to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston, the doctors found 3 tumors in her.

One large tumor in her abdomen, and two smaller tumors. One in the chest and one on the spine. She went through 6 rounds of induction chemo, two surgeries, 2 stem cell transplants, 12 rounds of radiation and 6 rounds of antibody treatment with Accutane. The first six rounds of chemo alone shrunk the largest tumor alone from 13cm in diameter to 3cm in diameter and the other two tumors disappeared completely.

She was declared to have No Evidence of Disease (NED) just before the first of her stem cell transplants and has been in remission since. Maddie’s story touched many because of her endless enthusiasm and constant smiles.

She loves karate, arts and crafts and has been involved in softball both before and after her treatment. She is 9 years old and is going into the 4th grade. She has one older brother who she loves to play (and fight) with. They don’t act like it, but they are best friends. This fall, for the first time, she will be able to play in the Team Maddie benefit softball tournament, a local tournament that benefits children with cancer.


September 19th, 2012

CURE Childhood Cancer Honors Brenton Beshers

September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Join us today, September 19, 2012 as CURE Childhood Cancer honors CURE Kid Brenton Beshers. Join our fight as CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time! Donate to Brenton’s fund.

On 8/12/11 our family was devastated to learn our otherwise healthy 14 yr old son had ALL Leukemia. We learned after 3 months of chemo he would need a bone marrow transplant in order to try to save his life. On 12/20/11, with the help of his 7 yr old sister’s cells, who was a perfect match, he had the transplant.

After a long recovery which he still is going through, he is now 100% donor and 0% Leukemia! This is his story from his point of view:

“My name is Brenton Scott Beshers and every since I got Leukemia my life has changed quite a bit. I’m 15 years old, and I loved to play sports, which I know I can’t now until I get my strength up. Once I got this disease I couldn’t go to school and didn’t get to see my friends except for weekends. I had my family there for me and once I saw how they really cared, I knew for sure I was going to win my battle, especially with all the prayers I had. When they told me I would have to have a bone marrow transplant, I cried for the first time in the 3 months that I had been told I had cancer. Not because of sadness, because of the joy due to I knew I got an easier way out of all the treatments that other kids have to go through. It was still a great battle, and I now know I am on the home stretch to victory. When 12/20/12 gets here I will have won the one year mark. It is still a 24/7 battle just knowing it could come back at anytime. I will never forget 8/12/11, the date that changed my life forever, the day I was told ‘You have Leukemia.’”


September 18th, 2012

CURE Childhood Cancer Honors Colin Lochamy

September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Join us today, September 18, 2012 as CURE Childhood Cancer honors CURE Kid Colin Lochamy. Join our fight as CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time! Donate to Colin’s fund.

On Thursday, September 9, 2010, Colin was admitted to Scottish Rite for testing for possible Leukemia. We had a long week of waiting, but on Saturday, September 18th, we got confirmation that he has Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). He has been in remission since day 28 (which was the goal) and has done very well with treatment.

Today, Colin is 3 years old and just started preschool. He loves being outside – walking, riding his bike, sliding, swinging…anything as long as it is outside!

We want to join our journey with CURE to help with funding for research but also to help spread the word about childhood cancer. One of the things Colin had going for him from the beginning was how early his leukemia was caught. Even though the news was hard to hear, we are grateful that treatment was started quickly and things have gone well.

We thank you for your support.

Love and blessings,

The Lochamys
Allen, Michelle, Colin and Ethan


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    JOIN US! CURE'S KIDS CONQUER CANCER

    Would you like to share your child's story as part of our fundraising event, CURE's Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time? Click here to learn more or email Lisa Branch at lisa@curechildhoodcancer.org.

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    10th ANNUAL "A TRIBUTE TO OUR QUIET HEROES"

    Tickets are on sale now for the 10th Annual luncheon celebrating the mothers of children diagnosed with cancer. Join us Saturday, September 27th at the InterContinental Buckhead. Click here to purchase tickets or learn more.