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Brennan’s Buddies® © 2012


Sammy’s story

On July 30th, 2012, our son, Sammy, was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma. Neuroblastoma is a solid tumor of the adrenal system. They had found a large tumor resting above his left kidney. On August 1st, they were able to remove the tumor. We found out that the cancer had spread to near-by lymph nodes, bones (including leg, arm, hips, spine and skull) and bone marrow. The diagnosis was confirmed as Stage 4 high-risk Neuroblastoma.In hindsight, his symptoms started in mid-June. We went to Urgent Care for neck pain and a fever, assumed it was just some virus. On July 11th, we went to the ER for severe abdominal pain and fever. We were thinking appendicitis, but then it resolved. On July 18th, the left leg pain and fever started. Again, we were thinking growing pains or something normal, but after several days my mother's intuition kicked in. I knew there was something going on, I just didn't know what. We had an x-ray of his leg on the 23rd, which showed a small dark spot, which could be anything, infection, a cyst... We decided to give it a week to see what came of it.In the meantime, his blood work was odd and Doctors questioned Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. Since the fever and pain did not resolve, we did a bone scan on July 30th. Thankfully, they didn't just look at his leg. The scan was able to identify the tumor above his kidney. Since Neuroblastoma presents as a calcified mass, similar to bone, it showed up on the scan. We were completely shocked. This wasn't even on the radar. This is how our journey began...

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Sammy’s Caringbridges

Sammy has started the MIBG therapy.

MIBG Therapy is used as part of the treatment for certain types of cancer.(Neuroblastoma)

MIBG is the name of the chemical  that is used. It stands for Meta-Iodo-Benzyl-Guanidine.

Before injection, the MIBG is attached to radioiodine. This is a form of iodine that is radioactive. The MIBG chemical is taken up by the cancer.  The cancer cells are then killed off by the radioactivity. No surgery is involved.

After that Sammy will go back to Chicago for a stem-cell infusion , that will take about a month in isolation. All of us with Brennan’s Buddies will be thinking of you and praying it all goes smooth.