The Ormsby’s of Beavercreek returned from vacation in the summer of 2006. Scott and Rachel, and their son Nathan were looking forward to getting back to their normal routine. Yet, their normal routine was about to be transformed in ways they never could have imagined. Three-year-old Nathan mentioned to his parents that his leg had been hurting. Nathan said he fell off the swing set, so they assumed his leg hurt due to the fall. One month later his symptoms worsened. Within a month of returning from vacation Nathan spiked a high fever. “His fever was 102 degrees for three days,” says Rachel. They took Nathan to their family pediatrician and were referred to Dayton Children’s for tests to determine the cause of his fever.
The news that they received from Mukund Dole, MD, a pediatric hematologist/oncologist in Dayton Children’s Cancer Care Center, changed their lives forever. Nathan was diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma, cancer of the sympathetic nervous system. Neuroblastoma is the most common solid tumor (besides brain tumors) in children. It is often diagnosed before a child is 1 year old. It accounts for about seven percent of childhood cancers. The symptoms for neuroblastoma are fever, pain, and loss of appetite. Scott and Rachel were shocked when Dr. Dole gave them the news. Nathan was already in stage IV so he needed immediate treatment. Nathan’s future was full of chemotherapy and many overnight stays at Dayton Children’s. Becky Strunk and Robbie Miriscotti, nurses in the hematology and oncology department, are a part of the team caring for Nathan.
“Nathan is a super kid. Sometimes his counts get so low and this makes him very sick, but is always happy and smiling,” says Becky.
The nurses and doctors at Dayton Children’s speak of Nathan’s cooperation and positive attitude when going through painful chemotherapy treatments. It is not easy for anyone to go through treatments like these, but especially for kids, it’s extremely tough.
Lori Stricker is another nurse that works with Nathan. She says “Nathan is very smart and is willing to do what you tell him. He never complains.”
Nathan, now 6 years old, has been through more medical tests than most kids his age. “Nathan has had CT scans, x-rays, MRI, bone scans and nuclear medicine tests. I think he’s had every imaging procedure you can have,” says Rachel. For that reason, she is grateful that Dayton Children’s takes great care to minimize radiation doses.
“We have spent a lot of time at Dayton Children’s. The hospital is big enough to provide your child the care needed and small enough to give a personal touch,” says Rachel.
Even though Nathan has spent many hours in the hospital, he has shown a positive attitude towards life. According to Rachel, Nathan is determined to keep fighting the “bad guys.” Nathan says, “The doctors and nurses always take good care of me.”
The Comprehensive Care Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Dayton Children’s provides state-of-the-art services in oncology and hematology. For more information on our services, and to learn about our pediatric cancer treatment visit our Children's Care Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders.
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