Who would ever dream that a persistent fever would lead to a diagnosis
of High Risk, Stage 3 Neuroblastoma, resulting in 5 cycles of high dose
chemotherapy, 4 surgeries, 14 rounds of radiation, 5 cycles of
immunotherapy with high doses of Accutane (yes, that Accutane), and
ultimately the loss of our son's life? This is the nightmare that
started for our family on August 26, 2008. Our son, Pierce Phillips was
born July 30, 2007. Pierce was an easy-going child and people often
referred to Pierce, as an "old soul" because of his demeanor and
captivating eyes that seemed to be full of wisdom. Pierce enjoyed riding
his fire truck, watching Shrek, and hanging out with his mommy and
Pierce received treatment at Memorial Sloan-Kettering
Cancer Center in New York. After these aggressive treatments, Pierce
achieved NED status – no evidence of cancer was detected. We spent the
next few months at our home in Oklahoma with our healthy son and enjoyed
the simple everyday events as every parent should be able to with their
child. Unfortunately, Pierce's disease was lurking undetected and
returned, which was found during an emergency bowel resection surgery,
only a few months after finishing high dose chemotherapy and radiation.
We returned to New York once again to stop this beast of a disease.
The salvage chemotherapy offered had no effect on his disease it
progressed, and he developed another bowel obstruction within weeks of
having bowel resection surgery. At this point, the Neuroblastoma had
affected Pierce's vital organs and we were forced to make a decision
that no parent should ever have to make. With no options left for
Pierce, we decided to stop treatment, which was advised by the top
doctors in this field, and took him home to enjoy every minute we could
loving Pierce in his final days. In the arms of his mommy and surrounded
by family, Pierce earned his angel wings on October 9, 2009.
was truly a one-of-a-kind child and in a short time touched many lives.
Pierce taught us the true meaning of courage and strength. Pierce took
on life with a smile and even in the toughest of battles he gracefully
handled each journey.
This disease can't be won by a few, it
will take all of us pulling together for these children. The drug
companies are not developing medication specifically for our children,
so it is up to us. We have to be the voice for the most innocent of
victims to cancer. Please host a bake sale in your town, at your
church, shopping mall, or anywhere you can think that will draw
attention to such a great cause, KIDS just wanting a chance to have a