Julianna is a 12 year old girl who is a Girl Scout, takes dance classes and plays soccer. She enjoys singing, playing violin, and performing in plays. She also has Ewing’s Sarcoma, a bone cancer that usually strikes adolescents and young adults. It often starts in long bones of the body such as the femur or pelvis, and can spread to soft tissue. In late August of 2012, Julianna began complaining of hip pain. The pain increased over the next few weeks and she started to experience other symptoms such as fatigue and unexplained fevers. An x-ray of the hip showed nothing. Blood work for Lyme disease came back negative. Finally an MRI showed an abnormal growth in Julianna’s hip, and she immediately went to a pediatric oncologist and the cancer was found. Julianna is now being treated at the Tomorrows Children’s Institute for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Hackensack University Medical Center. She is undergoing intensive chemotherapy that requires hospitalization for about 8 days a month, plus regular clinic checkups. She receives home instruction so that she can continue her schooling during treatment. As of January 2013, scans showed that chemotherapy has eliminated the tumors in Julianna’s body. Her doctor declared her “NED”–no evidence of disease. She continued to undergo chemotherapy treatment until June 2013. In early June 2013, Julianna was diagnosed with moderate chemotherapy-induced cardiomyopathy: a heart condition. Basically, her heart muscles were weakened by one of her chemotherapy drugs. This is treatable with medication, but complicated treatment. Since Julianna was almost finished with treatment and had been NED for several months, her doctors decided it was advisable to cancel the 14th and last chemo treatment. However, an end-of-treatment scan in July 2013 showed a recurrence of the tumors in her pelvis and upper femur. Julianna will continue treatment with medications that are tolerated by her heart.
*Julianna passed away on September 20, 2013.*