Cole Fitzgerald proves every day that his survival is nothing short of a miracle and he will never let his past cancer diagnosis determine his future. When Cole was nearly 3-years-old, he was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma following 20 days of a sporadic low grade fever. Cole was taken to two pediatricians who thought it was pneumonia and then a virus until a third pediatrician ran blood work and detected anemia. Cole’s parents elected to admit him to A.I. duPont Hospital for a complete workup and after four days of observation, an abdominal ultrasound discovered an eight centimeter neuroblastoma tumor. The whirlwind of treatment to save Cole’s life began. The primary tumor was large and sitting just below the adrenal gland and around Cole’s left kidney. The cancer had also spread to his bone marrow which meant stage 4 neuroblastoma at diagnosis. He was given weeks to live at diagnosis and his long term prognosis if he survived treatment was very grim.
Between January 2007 and April 2008, Cole received six chemotherapy treatments, several surgeries including tumor removal, a successful stem cell transplant at Children’s Hospital Of Philadelphia and 12 sessions of localized radiation followed by six months of Accutane treatment. Cole tolerated his treatment and countless tests with smiles and an acceptance of all of the new people that were helping to save his life. Later in 2008, he was diagnosed with high-frequency hearing loss caused by one of the chemotherapy drugs he received. Cole works very hard for every grade he receives. Now in 7th grade, Cole has been a consistent honor roll student since the 3rd grade.
This year, Cole will celebrate 10 years of remission and sees the team at A.I. dupont for survivor checkups annually. The boy who was given the bleakest of outlooks survived his cancer and thrives! To know Cole is to love him...Cole has an incredible sense of humor, an infectious personality and enjoys life to the fullest. He is a born and bred across-the-board Philadelphia sports teams fan, a pianist who writes his own music, an actor and singer in his school musicals and is pursuing his black belt in kickboxing this year. His career dream is to work in the NFL whether on the sidelines or as part of a the Philadelphia Eagles community outreach program.
His true passion comes from his speaking and fundraising on behalf of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation year round with his twin sister Maeve and 15-year-old sister Maggie. Maggie and Maeve have provided endless support to Cole during his cancer battle and now during his survivorship by lending their voices and time to fundraise for ALSF. Inspired by Cole’s cancer journey, the Fitzgerald Family has started the “Fightin’ Fitzgeralds Fund to Fight Neuroblastoma ” with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation to help those children like Cole who were not given much of a chance of survival. Together with his family, Cole continues to fight for cures for childhood cancer, one cup at a time.