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The Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Phoenix Children's Hospital is the largest pediatric program of its kind in Arizona, providing complete care for children diagnosed with malignancies and/or life-threatening hematologic diseases.
Casey was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL) on July 13, 1999, two months before his 14th Birthday. He spent six days in the hospital to receive his first round of chemotherapy. For the next 2 ½ years he would spend most of his time going to Phoenix Children’s Hematology Oncology Outpatient Clinic to receive Chemo, Spinal Taps, Bone Biopsies, Blood Tests and Blood Transfusions. Most of the time, Casey’s appointments were every week but at times he went three days a week. The doctors and nurses became our second family.
After nearly three years of treatment for Leukemia, Casey relapsed. His next treatment would be Bone Marrow Transplant. The closest Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Program in 2002 was at University Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona. Casey received three transplants from UMC. Each one of the transplants ranged from four to seven weeks in the hospital. After Casey was released from the hospital, he had daily appointments at the Outpatient Clinic. The transplants along with the outpatient clinic appointments required us to live in Tucson and away from home for four to six months with each transplant. UMC became our home away from home.
The newest children’s hospital, Cardon Children’s Medical Center located in Mesa, Arizona, opened the fall of 2009. We were delighted to learn Casey’s transplant doctor from Tucson was recruited to head the Hematology Oncology Department with goals to develop a Bone and Marrow Transplant Program. Our goal is to have TeamCasey follow Casey’s doctor. We would like to bring Casey’s wish, to help children fighting Blood Cancers, to Cardon Children’s Medical Center.