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Nathaniel Hafran
15 months old at diagnosis    
Los Angeles, CA USA
Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York

Nathaniel was diagnosed with Stage III, Intermediate Risk Neuroblastoma on February 5, 2009.  In the days leading up to his diagnosis he lost his ability to walk, crawl, or sit.  Following an appointment with a pediatric neurologist he was admitted to Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles for an emergency MRI.  The MRI revealed a fist-sized tumor wrapped around and invading his spinal column and compressing his spinal cord.  He had a three-level laminectomy immediately after the MRI to debulk the tumor and relieve pressure on his spinal cord.  In the days after his surgery pathology confirmed that the tumor was neuroblastoma and he started on his first cycle of chemotherapy.  During that time he also began to move his legs again and regained his ability to sit independently, astounding the neurosurgeon who had performed his laminectomy.  Within a month of surgery he was also crawling and walking again.  After a second cycle of chemotherapy in March a second MRI revealed no change in tumor size.  We contacted Dr. La Quaglia at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York and learned that he could do a near-complete resection without further chemo.  We traveled to New York and Dr. La Quaglia removed over 95% of the tumor on April 16, 2009.  That ended Nathaniel’s treatment.  He has been followed by scans (MRI, MIBG, bone) and labs (blood and urinary HVA/VMA) since that time.  As of his MRI on December 4, 2009 he is NED!

Nathaniel is now a happy, healthy two-year-old.  He enjoys playing outside, interacting with any kind of animal, exploring new parks, helping Mommy cook, and reading books.  He spends his time playing at home and at parks, seeing his friends at various playgroups, and attending art and music classes.