Stories about: childhood cancer

Sajni walks among the stars: A parent’s perspective

Sajni, pictured here with a horse, was diagnosed with DIPG when she was just 7 years old.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF CHAKRABARTI FAMILY

In honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Prabal Chakrabarti writes about his daughter Sajni. 

Our daughter Sajni Chakrabarti was only 7 and a half years old when she was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of brain cancer –  diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) – and given only nine months to live.

Sajni loved life and learning. She spoke French fluently, played the violin and read avidly. And after she became sick, even as she struggled and was sad, she kept her bright-eyed glow and laughter all the way through. She still aimed to change the world, even writing a letter to the White House on climate change.

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What are the most common symptoms of childhood cancer?

Girl with leukemia visits with doctor
Emma Duffin and Dr. Leslie Lehmann (PHOTO: SAM OGDEN)

Childhood cancers are very rare; in fact, they make up less than 1 percent of all cancers diagnosed annually. Therefore, there are not any regular screening tests, unless a child has an increased risk due to genetic predisposition. This Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, we’re taking a look at some of the common childhood cancer symptoms, and when parents should seek advice from a doctor.

The symptoms of childhood cancer can be difficult to recognize because they often mimic those of typical childhood illnesses, such as the common cold.

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Resource guide: What everyone should know about childhood cancer

childhood cancerHow much do you know about childhood cancers? Even though they’re rare (far more so than cancers in adults), they are no less devastating to children and their families. For Childhood Cancer Awareness Month—celebrated every year in September—Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center is sharing important information about childhood cancers and inspiring stories from the children who battle it every day.

As the month comes to a close, here are four topics we think everyone should learn about when it comes to childhood cancer.

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Boston Mayor Marty Walsh ‘Proud to be a Cancer Survivor’

SOG_2071_14-2Boston Mayor Marty Walsh recently gave the keynote address at Dana-Farber’s Living Proof: Celebrating Survivorship event. He shared his experience as a child being treated for Burkitt’s lymphoma at Dana-Farber and Boston Children’s Hospital.

Boston Children’s Hospital is proud to have been involved in the Mayor’s treatment all those years ago. Stories like his, and all of our patients, inspire the team at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center to provide the most advanced care and develop innovative treatments so the children they treat today can go on to do great things tomorrow.

The following excerpts from his speech, originally appeared on Insight, Dana-Farber’s blog :

I was diagnosed with cancer at age 7. I went through treatment for almost four years.

At 7-years old, I didn’t really know what was going on and how serious it was – and it was pretty serious. For many years I missed a lot of school. I missed most of my second and third grades.

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