Sunday, October 20, 2013


Last week, Georgia made her first visit to the LIVESTRONG Survivorship Center for neuropsychological testing. She's been evaluated twice before, as recommended for all children in treatment, but this study is specifically focused on the neurocognitive function of children treated for ALL. The most common learning problems occur in math, so the study looks closely at processing speed, visual and sequential memory, attention and concentration. In her first two evaluations, Georgia did very well in all areas, even improving in some after completing treatment, and we have no reason to be concerned as she thankfully hasn't had any problems in school. That said, we will take any opportunity we have to further research and help other kids and families in the fight - remember, Knowledge is Power!

In six short months, Georgia will transition into the survivorship program, and her follow-up appointments will be at the center, which adjoins the clinic. The goal of the program is to empower young survivors to take charge of their health by educating them on their individual treatments and teaching them how to maintain good health and manage late effects that may arise. We're so grateful to have access to such services and doubly so as the only effects Georgia has been challenged by so far are relatively mild. Her clinic appointment last week also showed her counts to be great - dare I say, normal! - and she's regained some of the weight she lost thanks to mono. We are truly, truly blessed.

We are also continually inspired by other warriors. One such great inspiration is Teo, the son of Ivy's primary teacher, Toni. Teo was diagnosed with ALL at the age of 2, and Ivy was in Toni's class when Georgia was diagnosed. To have Ivy spend her days with someone who understood so well what we were going through was incredibly comforting, and I know a big part of Ivy's success in her own journey is due in large part to Toni's tender care at such a critical moment. When we walked in to the survivorship center last week, we were greeted by Teo's smiling face on the wall, and it was another great reminder of what is possible - living STRONG after childhood cancer.

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