Nathan was born on June 16, 2000. He was a very happy healthy little boy until March of 2003, when he began having fevers. He then developed a swollen black eye one weekend and I took him to the ER but they never figured out what it was. A week or two later he started to limp. On April 1, 2003 he was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma. He had a large tumor on his kidney and cancer throughout his bones and bone marrow.
Nathan’s treatment protocol called for 6 rounds of high-dose chemo followed by surgery and an autologous bone marrow transplant (his own bone marrow given back to him after super high-dose chemo). After all of that, Nathan was still not in remission and we took him to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City where he had surgery to finally put him into remission followed by a year of antibody treatments. During this year he attended preschool and lived a normal life in between visits to NYC. He finished that protocol in October 2004 and then he relapsed in June 2005 with another tumor. He had more chemo and surgery in August 2005 to removed the tumor. He came home and started morning kindergarten and would have chemo in the afternoons. We found out he was in remission again in December 2005. He continued with the chemo and then switched to a light medication in the spring. In June 2006 we found out he relapsed again, this time with cancer throughout his bones but no tumors and his bone marrow was clean. He had some high dose chemo at home and then we headed to NYC again in September and enrolled him as the first patient in a new clinical trial. We ended up staying there through mid-December 2006 where he was hospitalized for 6 weeks and his cancer progressed. He came home right before Christmas and we spent our last Christmas together. He was still feeling good at this point and we gave him some light chemo to slow the cancer as much as possible. Nathan went to first grade in January where he had a wonderful semester. By the last two weeks of school he was slowing down and beginning to be in pain but he finished school.
Nathan died slowly and painfully, but at home with his family on July 29, 2007.
Nathan loved cars and trucks and legos and playmobil. He loved his little sisters and school. Nathan was an old soul and had a mature appreciation for natural beauty. He remained a happy, playful child despite the treatments and pain. He was a wonderful son and brother.