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Sarcoma Patient Stories
Hole in One!
I had a radical resection of an 11cm mixoidliposarcoma on the outside of my left hip, followed by six weeks of radiation in October 2007. Eight years later, on October 25, 2015, I got a hole in one at my local golf course ! If I had allowed my initial consulting surgeon to operate on me, I would have been unable to achieve the balance necessary to effectively swing a golf club...much less run or walk without a pronounced limp. Dr. Eilber not only saved my life, but preserved the normal function of my leg.
In the summer of 2010, our daughter Grace became a cancer patient at the young age of five. What a shock to us all that one minute she was swimming in a lake in Wisconsin and the next she was admitted into UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital. Grace was diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma and began treatment under the care of Dr. Noah Federman.
On July 17, 2010, at approximately 10:45pm, Grace received her first dose of chemotherapy. The road ahead was long: 14 rounds of chemotherapy; 32 doses of radiation; 22 admissions into the hospital through the Emergency Department, a bout with a parasite called cryptosporidia, 12 million stem cells harvested, three surgeries and a g-tube that just kept getting infected. On May 13, 2011, Grace received her final chemo treatment and walked out into the sunshine of the UCLA campus. She is currently eight years old and thriving.
Surviving a One-Two Punch of Thyroid Cancer and Sarcoma
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.
Teen Battles Osteosarcoma and Seizes Bright Future
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.”