Jennifer Marquez has survived not one but two bouts with cancer. Her first diagnosis and treatment for thyroid cancer went smoothly enough. It was the second diagnosis with a rare form of sarcoma that presented a life-threatening challenge.
By the time her sarcoma was diagnosed, Marquez had a mass the size of a football growing on her hip. The first doctors she consulted said she required surgery and that she might never walk again and could be paralyzed. The family instantly sought a second opinion and found their way to Dr. Fritz Eilber, an associate professor of surgical oncology and a researcher with UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. Read Jennifer’s story >
The doctors told Allie Newman that the pain in her right thigh was tendonitis, nothing to worry about. A little physical therapy and she’d be as good as new. Just one month later, in January, the 16-year-old avid skier and soccer player was diagnosed with an aggressive osteosarcoma in her right femur.
Her dad, Bob Newman, broke the news to his only daughter as she lay on her bed doing homework, just like she did on any other regular night. Tonight, though, everything would change.
“Just a few days before, she was skiing on a family trip, playing soccer and enjoying her teenage freedom. Now I had to sit and explain a cancer diagnosis to her,” Newman said. “That is not something you ever prepare for or anticipate having to do with your child.”Read Allie’s story >