A Childhood Cancer Survivor Blogging about the World of Childhood Cancer

Posts tagged ‘Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’

A Hero’s Welcome for Zach Hofen



Zach Hofen is ten years old. Melinda and I first met Zach three years ago when we traveled to Kansas City, Kansas to participate in Braden’s Run, a fundraiser for Braden’s Hope Childhood Cancer Foundation. Braden is Zach’s younger brother. Braden was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma in December of 2007, the exact same month Melinda was diagnosed with cancer. Unlike Melinda, Braden’s fight against cancer continues to this day.
From Braden’s Caringbridge site:
“Braden was admitted to Children’s Mercy on Friday, December 28, 2007 after a visit to the ER for abdominal pain. A chest x-ray revealed a large white shadow across most of the right side of his chest and extending partially across the left side. A CT scan determined that it was a solid mass, which doctors suspect is a Neuroblastoma, a rare tumor found in infancy and early childhood.”
Braden has endured unimaginable pain and suffering, yet he continues to be an amazingly bright- spirited boy. Without any doubt, Braden’s family has been an enormous factor in his ability to stay positive and stay alive. His parents, Deliece and Brian, are more educated about Braden’s illness than many doctors will ever be. The Hofens have struggled through piles and piles of “bad stuff,” yet, incredibly, this is a family who gives other families hope. Deliece posts beautifully written pieces of her heart about Braden’s illness on Caringbridge and also in her blog, No! This is SERIOUSLY My Life! Amid all the chaos of treatment, they made time to found Braden’s Hope for Childhood Cancer, to be sure they would make a difference in the lives of many other children.
And this brings us to our hero, Zach. We don’t often think of the effects or the challenges of siblings of those battling childhood cancer. Most of their parents’ time and attention is gobbled up by caregiving. The household has illness living there; there are no “normal” days, yet they are still “normal.” They have constant terror from witnessing their brother or sister suffer and constant fear that death will take them away. In the case of this courageous sibling, Zach has made a hero’s choice and he has completed a hero’s deed. Zach is a bone marrow donor, and his recipient is his brother, Braden. Not only has Zach supported his brother and family with his wit and exuberant personality through the past difficult years, but he has given LIFE to Braden. Deliece says, “Zach is hilarious and has many “Zachisms”. He keeps us laughing every day! “
Zach and his Dad, Brian, return to their home from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in two days, on Friday, April 4. Family friends are planning a Hero’s Welcome for Zach! If you live anywhere near Olathe, Kansas, or if you are able to get there somehow, please, please give Zach the warmest, most sincere and grateful welcome home there could ever be!

Big Brother, Zach! You are a Hero!

Big Brother, Zach!
You are a Hero!

Details are in these links!




Thank you Dr. Anna Meadows

Grace: A Child's Intimate Journey Through Cancer and Recovery

Rolling along on the same subject of survivorship, I want to tell you about Dr. Anna Meadows. In 1962, at the age of 31, she wrote to the dean of Harvard and told him of her desire to become a doctor. The response she received was to stay home with her three children. Fortunately, for many childhood cancer survivors, Dr. Meadows did not take this advice. She achieved her dream.


Dr. Meadows will be honored at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for her 38 years of distinguished service and contributions to the world of childhood cancer. She is fondly known as the “matriarch of childhood cancer survivorship.” I hope she has inspired many others to follow her lead in recognizing the importance of studying and lessening late effects from childhood cancer treatments.

And now, a personal story about Dr. Meadows. A year ago, I was doing a lot of research about childhood cancer. From all of this research, I chose people and organizations that I wanted to ask to look at my book for a possible endorsement. Well, when I found Dr. Meadows and saw all that she has done—she really stood out! My mom picked up the phone and called her.

Guess who answered?

Dr. Anna Meadows herself.

What a lovely woman she is! Her schedule did not allow her time to take a look at my book, but my mom truly enjoyed her conversation with Dr. Meadows. This is going to sound really weird, but I will admit I was truly happy she didn’t have time.

This meant she was taking care of the children!

Thank you Dr. Meadows… is there some way we might clone you before you retire?


*Jade’s surgery went well. Thank you for your prayers…

Jade Waiting for Surgery

Facebook/ Grace: A Child’s Intimate Journey Through Cancer and Recovery


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