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It is possible to beat the odds. 13-year-old Bryan Fandrey is living proof as an 11 year survivor of stage IV neuroblastoma.
Just before his third birthday, Bryan fell as so many toddlers do, bumping his eye and ending up with a black eye. Although it didn’t appear to be anything to worry about, during a visit to the pediatrician with his baby sister, the doctor noticed a slight bump next to his eye and recommended that his mom Eileen take him to an ophthalmologist. A CT scan was scheduled that showed Bryan had not only a tumor next to his eye, but also a mass in his stomach. Blood and bone marrow tests revealed more devastating news as Bryan was diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma.
Bryan immediately started chemotherapy with the doctors informing Eileen that it would likely take 1 to 2 full rounds of treatment before there would be a noticeable difference. To everyone’s surprise, the day after his first treatment – the tumor had already shrunk. Bryan was even put on a special medication to protect his kidneys because the tumor was breaking down so quickly. Bryan continued to make incredible strides and remained in the hospital less than a week during his first round of treatment, making it home in time to celebrate his third birthday. Due to his quick recovery, Bryan started his second round of treatment sooner than planned and again responded remarkably.
Just two months after his first treatment, blood work was performed to determine where any residual disease was located and, again his results stunned everyone coming back completely clean. After his final round of chemotherapy, Bryan was expected to need surgery to remove the rest of the tumor, but scans again found no trace of the disease. He completed maintenance therapy and has been in remission ever since.
Bryan has grown into a big-hearted young man participating as a Junior Leader in a program at his church and loves computers, science and history. As the oldest of four children, he is a role model not only for his fellow peers, but his younger siblings. Bryan’s mom Eileen considers her son a miracle and encourages all parents going through a cancer diagnosis to know that there is hope and to continue to fight to find a cure for this horrible disease.
Information provided by Eileen Fandrey, Bryan’s Mom
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