At the age of 6 months old Gideon Purchase has been fighting for his life. His parents noticed he had a los of appetite and poor sleeping patterns. What they thought was teething symptoms became progressively worse as yellowish bruises appeared over his eyes and a lump on his head.
With these alarming signs, the family rushed little Gideon to the hospital where they learned of his devastating diagnosis. Stage 4 high-risk neuroblastoma.
After Gideon was diagnosed medivac took him to St. Jude, where MRI scans revealed the full scale of his disease.
“His entire face and skull was full of cancer, and all of his bones were full of cancer,” said his St. Jude doctor, Sara Federico. “He had a large tumor that was present in the middle of his body.”
Both Katie and Gary, the father, were distraught after the news, but the doctors at St. Jude were confident in their plan.
‘They started Gideon on a new clinical trial that uses a unique approach to immunotherapy. The technique combines an antibody with chemotherapy at the beginning, middle and end of treatment,’ reports Today.com.
“The early results are surpassing all of our wildest expectations,” Federico said.
Gideon’s health dramatically changed in six weeks.
“He went from 84 percent of his marrow having tumor to zero percent,” Federico said.
The tumors that once overtook his face, arms and legs were completely gone, many of the others were close to being completely gone. However, Gideon still had to go through radiation and bone marrow transplant.
“Being how aggressive this disease is, they can’t leave one cell alive,” Gary said.
The 2-year-old endured 15 months of treatment before doctors were ready to declare him healthy.
“You yearn for the day when you’re not toting around an entire IV tree behind your kid. And then it happens, and you just kind of sit there like, ‘Wow. We made it,’” Gary said.
Today, Gideon lives cancer free and is a happy energetic little man.
“It makes you appreciate the little things. Suddenly, life’s problems just don’t seem like a big deal anymore,” Gary said. “He makes us treasure every day.”