Dec 14, 2009 Latest post:
Aug 18, 2016
Welcome to Sam Moore's CaringBridge website. We created it to keep friends and family updated about Samuel as he faced his battle with childhood cancer. Sam passed away on August 18, 2012 after a tough battle. His strength, courage, determination and Faith in God was unmatched. Please get started by reading the introduction to our website in the My Story section. We love you Sam!
On November 22, 2009, we were at a late evening MYHA Ice Hockey game in Rockville, MD watching Sam's team play in a very exciting match. This was to be Sam's second season ever on the ice and he was off to a strong start. Sam's love for the game was clear and he knew he had to work really hard to be successful in the Bantam League which is comprised of older and more experienced young men. Sam loved a challenge and his skating skills were already on par and he was learning and refining his game awareness.
On this unremarkable day, a miracle happened -- a high sticking penalty was called -- one of hundreds of penalties that happen over the course of a season in an active sports association. Sam got hit on the right side of his helmet -- he shook it off, but he did not tell anyone he had a headache for the remainder of the game. Sam played the entire game without complaint. It was only on our way home, he revealed that he had a headache. It could have been many things -- hunger, fatigue, dehydration -- we checked him out for symptoms of a concussion -- nothing. We gave him some Tylenol and fluids -- the headache went away, but we monitored him overnight.
Sam came to us early the next morning complaining of another headache. Sam does not complain, so we knew a doctor's visit was on the agenda for the morning. We gave him some Tylenol and planned for a visit to Sam's pediatrician at Kaiser Permanente. Sam then got sick to his stomach -- no doubt -- concussion. The initial doctor's visit was uneventful -- they said he had a "mild head injury" as there were no other overt signs -- they scheduled him for a CT scan later that same morning "just as a precaution" -- GOOD THING....
The CT scan revealed bleeding on the brain and an ambulance was dispatched. They took us directly to the Children's National Medical Center (CNMC) in Washington, DC -- the Neurology team was called to the emergency room who looked at the CT scans and immediately had Sam undergo a series of MRI scans -- they were moving fast -- and the results were not good -- an unknown, preexisting brain tumor was discovered and the impact from the stick caused the tumor to hemorrhage.
The Miracle -- Sam never revealed any symptoms of a brain tumor. We may never have known about the existence of the tumor until it was too late. God used that ice hockey accident to focus us and the medical world early in the game to take care of Sam.
We were admitted directly to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) on November 23, 2009 for observation and care while the next steps for treatment were being planned. After we had extensive consultations with the Neurosurgery team, CNMC began preparations for surgery -- they were going to remove the brain tumor.
Sam was remarkable during this initial period -- he displayed an amazing calm -- his strength, bravery and courage was unmatched -- his positive attitude has truly helped us maintain our strength and resolve. The strong character of this young man was being revealed before our very eyes.
Sam underwent brain surgery on 25 November 2009 to remove the tumor that was located on his right occipital lobe. Our Neurosurgeon performed a total resection of the lesion -- yes, he got the entire tumor -- a very good thing.
Sam recovered from surgery at an amazing speed. We had been given a wonderful Thanksgiving blessing -- one we will always remember and be thankful for and to our delight, we were discharged early Saturday morning on November 28, 2009.
We waited several days to receive the pathology report and unfortunately, the news was not good. Sam's tumor was malignant -- he was diagnosed with Cancer -- specifically, a Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumor (PNET).
A new challenge and battle faced our family -- Radiation and Chemotherapy. As you will see in the early days of this journal, Sam met that challenge with courage and grace; the cancer went into remission for almost an entire year...
Unfortunately in July 2011, the tumor returned as an aggressive GBM. Sam underwent surgery again on 28 July 2011 to have this brain tumor removed -- they were successful, but it continued to fight back. We were on a very different journey. Sam was on an experimental vaccine study at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, but returned to CNMC after it failed.
Our Samuel passed away on 18 Aug 2012, but he gave the ultimate gift of himself to medical research because he wanted his cancer to mean something - it did - NEVER STOP FIGHTING!