age 7, soft tissue cancer
For a period of time leading up to July 2018, no one knew it, but Cohen had a tumor the size of a lime behind his nose, branching into his jaw and around his brain stem. His symptoms were largely run of the mill – sniffles, tooth pain; but then one of his eyes turned inward, and his family sought further medical attention.
Cohen had been from doctor to doctor, including the dentist; he was on antibiotics and even had a tooth pulled. Now, with the onset of this new symptom, his mom, Amber, decided to give the eye doctor a try.
The eye doctor sent them straight to the local children’s hospital.
Scans and a biopsy showed Cohen had a type of soft tissue cancer called rhabdomyosarcoma. With this news, Cohen stopped being a kid who had a tumor that no one knew about; within a few weeks, chemotherapy would take his hair, and everyone would know at a glance that he had cancer.
Cohen’s tumor had likely been growing a long time, and it was inoperable due to its location. Right away, he was referred to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where he is undergoing treatment, including chemotherapy and proton therapy.
“St. Jude staff have made big imprints on his time here,” said Amber. “They have always gone above and beyond for him. And there is no service that a child needs that can't be covered here. There's nothing that he'll need during his care that I can't come here to be taken care of.”
The lifesaving work of St. Jude is funded largely by donors whose generosity also ensures families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food.
Amber said, “If it wasn't for this place, I don't know where he would be right now. You know, I get the things in the mail, and I've donated in the past, and I know every little amount helps, but now that I understand more what's going on here, I know how important it is to support it. A lot of friends have started doing fundraisers for St. Jude, and I make sure to donate to every single one of them because it goes back to my child. It goes back to the next person's child, and it goes back to every child that walks in the doors.”
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“Cohen overall is doing remarkably well considering he is still in treatment,” said Amber. “We have overcome so many obstacles, and he has never let it stop him or break his spirit.” His days are busy with school, craft time, playing outside and now, a brand new family member — a puppy named “Cohen’s Second Chance.”
St. Jude staff have made big imprints on his time here. They have always gone above and beyond for him. And there is no service that a child needs that can't be covered here.
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