Andrew's story of his cancer battle started May 22, 2010 as he was rushed to the hospital from his baseball game. After intensive testing it was found that he had high risk medullablastoma (brain cancer). He had a golf ball size tumor at the base of his skull, 5 floating tumors in the brain and 4 tumors on his spine. He had his port for chemotherapy, a permanent shunt placed and surgery to remove the large tumor.
HIs treatment was 56 rounds of chemo at Children's Hospital and 26 consecutive tomotherapy radiation treatments at Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee. His last chemotherapy was Feb. 7 th of 2011. Andrew attended 6 th grade for 6 days as his immune system was so compromised. Our family went to Atlantis that July for his make-A-Wish trip which was amazing and so beautiful.
Andrew's brain cancer came back his freshman year. The second reoccurrence was a year later. The third occurrence was 11 months later. Fast forward after being cancer free 2 1/2 years to February 2017 ... we were saddened and shocked that his cancer was back and unfortunately is in his spinal fluid. There are new tumors on his spine and new tumors where there hadn' t been before in his brain.
The tumors in his brain are dangerously close to large blood vessels. The doctors chose not to biopsy them because of the risk. The treatment plan currently is considered palliative care. The doctors immediately went into action to find the best treatment options for Andrew. Knowing time is of the essence the study at UC-SF seemed to be his best option. We flew out to San Francisco on February 20th and his procedure was done on the 22nd.
Andrew is courageous and brave beyond words as he is the first human to participate in this phase one study. It has proven to be successful in mice and rats with high risk medullablastoma using a measles vaccine that tricks it into going after the tumors .( Andrew was immunized as a baby so he can't get the measles.)
Andrew's involvement in study is scheduled to end March 21st. Upon return to Milwaukee, he will begin intense courses of chemotherapy. A tumor from his prior surgery was sent to identify markers. This will determine the most effective chemotherapy drug cocktail for Andrew.