Cole Patrick Fitzgerald
Cole Patrick Fitzgerald was diagnosed on January 29, 2007 with Stage IV Neuroblastoma (non-amplified MYCN). Even before Cole was born on March 28, 2004, he has been faced with incredible challenges. Cole was a 30 week preemie twin born with lungs that were too small and bilateral dislocated hips from having no amniotic fluid in his sac for 7 weeks of our pregnancy. He was trached and on a ventilator for 2 years until April 2006 and continued to astound everyone with meeting all of his developmental milestones. Things took a tragic turn for Cole when he ran a sporadic low grade fever for 20 days beginning the day after Christmas 2006. He was taken to 2 pediatricians who thought it was pneumonia and then viral, until the 3rd pediatrician ran blood work and detected a touch of anemia. We elected to admit him to A.I. duPont for a complete workup and after 4 days of observation, he had an abdominal ultrasound which discovered an 8cm neuroblastoma tumor and the whirlwind of treatment to save his life began.
The primary tumor was below the adrenal gland above his left kidney. The cancer spread to his bone marrow and he began treatment at the end of January 2007. Between January 2007 and April 2008, Cole received 6 chemo treatments, a successful removal of a very petrified tumor, a successful stem cell transplant, and 12 session of localized radiation to the former tumor site followed by 6 months of Accutane treatment. Cole underwent his treatment and countless tests always with a smile and an acceptance of all of the new people that were helping to save his life. He is an absolute joy to all who know him. Cole is in complete remission and has been for 28 months (as of June 2007). We discovered in August 2008 that Cole suffered significant high frequency hearing loss in both ears and now wears hearing aids full time. He also has scans and bloodwork drawn every 6 months to check for any signs of recurrence and he is followed by a team of specialists at A.I. and CHOP to monitor late term effects from treatment.
Much of 2008 and 2009 have been focused on making the most of each day with our family. Cole attends kindergarten at Grenloch Terrace School in Sewell, New Jersey. He loves to learn as well as play his Nintendo DS, his race cars particularly Lightning McQueen, his Wii video, and Disneyworld. He loves to swim and dance as much as possible and his favorite amusement ride is the roller coaster. He is very outgoing and mischievous as most 5 year old boys can be. He is always affectionate toward his sisters who are indeed his best friends. Our son is the toughest kid on the planet, overcoming every obstacle that has been put in front of him. He proves to everyone every day that miracles do happen and that he’s not going to let cancer stand in his way.
Cole will always be our hero!
Follow Cole’s treatment by visiting www.caringbridge.org/visit/colefitzgerald
Written by: Keren Fitzgerald, Cole’s mom