On June 23, 2008 (at age 3), Serena was diagnosed with Stage 4, High Risk, Neuroblastoma Cancer. This is a childhood cancer that is the second most common in children (2nd to Leukemia). However, it only affects 600 children per year in the United States. There are only 25 percent of those 600 that are in Serena's category (stage 4, high risk) It effects the nerves and normally originates in the adrenal glands. With Serena it did in fact originate in the left adrenal gland where a hard tumor developed and wrapped around the gland and interferred with the left renal arteries. The Cancer has also affected her entire spine; every vertebrae in her vertebral column, and her bone marrow throughout most of her body(bone marrow biopsy, said 90% cancerous). As of 3/29/09- Serena has completed 7 rounds of chemotherapy, 2 surgeries to remove the hard tumor, an autologous bone marrow stem cell transplant and 12 rounds of radiation. Our next step is 3F8 monoclonal antibody/immunotherapy at Memorial Sloan Ketting Hospital in New York City.
Bryce Kameron Raub was born on March 2, 2009 a happy healthy little man. Just 25 days later a lump was discovered on Bryce's left shoulder blade. After many many tests and scans it was decided that he need to see a Pediatric Surgeon and the Oncologist was put on stand by. On May 4, 2009, following surgery to remove the "mass" Bryce was diagnosed with Aveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma. His treatment plan would consist of 43 weeks of in and out patient treatments. After the very first chemo treatment they could no longer see the tumor, so additional scans and another surgery were set so that the Dr's could verify the accuracy of the scans. It was determined that the tumor was completely gone, but Bryce would have to continue with his treatments as planned to make sure that no additional tumors would have time to form and that all cells, no matter how microscopic are killed. Bryce also had to have a portion of his shoulder bone, the scapula spine, removed to be 100% sure that the cancer cells surrounding the original tumor were not latched onto the bone.