September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month. At PCFLV, we are committed to spreading the GOLD all year long. However, in September, we truly make it our mission. 30 Days, 30 Stories celebrates the children we know and love and the brave battles they fight and have fought, with their families by their sides. In celebrating these beautiful children and their stories, we hope to inspire you to join us in our mission to SPREAD THE GOLD in September and all year long!
In September 2014, just one month after Emmitt's first birthday, his right testicle became swollen. My mother took him to his primary care physician, who believed it was a hernia and referred us to a surgeon at St Christopher's Hospital in Philadelphia, where we met Dr. Arthur. Dr. Arthur believed Emmitt had a hydrocele. So we scheduled his surgery at St Luke's Bethlehem for October 1, 2014.
The surgery was supposed to be a quick and easy surgery. As time passed, I started getting nervous. Then the doctor finally came out and asked for both Corey (Emmitt's dad) and me to come back because he needed to speak to us immediately. The tears started rolling down my cheeks as I knew something was wrong. He explained he had a tumor in his right testicle and needed consent to remove the whole testicle. After surgery, we were referred back to St. Christopher's to meet with the oncologist. Emmitt needed to have further testing to determine the severity of the cancer.
We then found out he had Stage 4, High-Risk Neuroblastoma in almost every part of his body (his skull, eye orbits, spine, pelvis, humerus, femur, adrenal gland, and bone marrow). After many rounds of radiation, chemotherapy, surgeries, bone marrow transplants, and clinical trials, Emmitt was cancer-free and on his way to recovery. Then our worlds were flipped upside down again just two short months after finishing treatment. Emmitt was admitted to the ICU for two large brain tumors. We faced yet again another year of two clinical trails, chemo, surgery, and radiation. Finally, Emmitt finished treatment February 14, 2017.
He has now been cancer-free for seven months and catching up on his lost childhood.
-written by Emmitt's mom, Carissa