July 31, 2017
Flashes of Hope!
Founded in 2001 by the parents of a child with cancer, Flashes of Hope is a volunteer-driven organization solely focused on children’s cancer. With chapters in 55 cities, they photograph more than 50% of the children diagnosed every year in the United States. Since its founding in 2001, they have photographed 62,212 children at hospitals and camps across the United States. Here is a picture of Hannah, holding the photo taken of her in 2008. Nine years cancer free!
Summer Means Sunscreen
Many types of therapy make skin sensitive to sunlight. And a bad sunburn can lead to a skin infection in children and teens with low white blood cell counts. Skin that has been irradiated is also sensitive to the sun. So, be sure to wear a hat and use sunscreen (at least SPF30) if you are on treatment or are a survivor who was treated with radiation
Speaking of skin, are you a survivor with moles? Survivors who were treated with radiation sometimes develop a large number of moles on their bodies that may arise in unusual places such as the scalp, hands, or toes. The Children’s Oncology Group Follow-up Guidelines page 198 recommends an evaluation and yearly follow-up from a dermatologist if you have more than 50 moles or the moles are changing in any way (e.g., changing color, getting bigger, bleeding, irregular edges).
Loving Libbie Memorial Foundation
Loving Libbie’s Comfort Through Food program not only provides a delicious source of nutrition, but also provides psychosocial support that positively affects the mind, body and spirit of patients and their families and helps them cope with cancer treatment. Founded by the mother of Libbie, who died in 2005, the foundation supports many programs, including a food truck that delivers meals to hospitalized children. For more information, visit www.lovinglibbie.org.
FDA Committee Recommends Approval for Immunotherapy
An FDA committee recommended approval for a new type of immunotherapy that helps kids with relapsed or refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). This customized treatment includes harvesting patients’ white blood cells and rewiring them to home in on tumors. “I think this is most exciting thing I’ve seen in my lifetime,” said Dr. Tim Cripe, an oncologist with Nationwide Children’s Hospital on Columbus. Click here for more information.