Stories about: Dr. Raja Shaikh

Innovative treatment for a large liver tumor saves Ziad

Young boy in hospital for liver tumor treatment
Ziad right before his second TACE procedure

Ziad Selbak was a pint-sized patient with a huge medical challenge. In March 2017, the two-year-old was diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), an aggressive form of liver cancer rare in young children.

But specialists at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center were ready to take on the challenge. They collaborated on an innovative application of transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) — an established treatment for adults — to deliver chemotherapy directly to Ziad’s large tumor and stabilize his condition with the ultimate goal of liver transplant.

It all started in February 2017, when Ziad took a tumble on a toy at his family’s home in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

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Oxford rower battling bone cysts is ready to make history

Shelley Pearson battling aneurysmal bone cystsPhoto courtesy of Naomi Baker Sport Photography

They travel through the water, propelled by lean oars that slice with barely a trace—a continuous, synchronistic cycle. Breathing in. Breathing out. Gathering force. Breathing in again.

For 24-year-old Bermudian Shelley Pearson, rowing is like breathing. Living without it is simply unimaginable.

“I can remember the moment I fell in love with the sport,” says Shelley. “I felt all the athletes in the boat rowing in perfect harmony. It was as if we were gliding weightlessly on top of the water. The moment you’ve experienced that feeling — it’s what you constantly strive toward.”

With multiple U.S. National Championships, a World Rowing Junior Championships gold medal and numerous honors in national collegiate and international competitions, some might say it’s in her genes. Her father competed for Bermuda in running, her brother in basketball. But beyond family tradition is a relentless determination in spite of a fractured pelvic bone, torn tendon and nine hospital procedures in three years.

“It has made me realize I am resilient and also how much of it is mental rather than physical.”

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