The many faces of childhood cancer

Good Morning America recently shared the story of the Durkins, a family who has overcome tremendous odds. All three Durkin children were diagnosed with a rare  blood disease called Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). After treatment at Dana-Farber/Children’s Hospital Cancer Center, all the Durkin siblings are doing better, and their cases have helped DF/CHCC researchers learn more about the genetics of the disease.

Having three family members diagnosed with MDS is very rare, but there is a unique story behind every child diagnosed with cancer. Each story puts a new face on cancer, treatment and survivorship, and on the unique experiences each child meets with their families, communities and caregivers.

In honor of National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, over the next four weeks we’ll introduce you to four children who, while young, have already overcome one of the biggest challenges of their lives:

  • Caitlynne, who opted for an innovative treatment that turned her ankle into a replacement knee after a rare leg cancer took part of her leg.
  • Fernando, a star soccer player who’s time away from the field during treatment gave him a new outlook on life.
  • Sarah, who has faced leukemia down not once, but twice.
  • Steven, a bone cancer survivor who went on to be his high school’s valedictorian.

These four represent just a few of the many faces of childhood cancer across the United States and the world. We hope you’ll join us this month in honoring all of the children who come to Dana-Farber/Children’s Hospital Cancer Center, as well as their caregivers—doctors, nurses, psychologists, social workers, researchers, administrators and more—who work tirelessly until every child is well.