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Friends Helping Ethan

$30,734raised of $50,000 goal
61%

Organizer: HVS Friends and Colleagues of the Murphy Family Beneficiary: Ethan Murphy

Words a parent never wants to hear, “your child has cancer.” But this was the diagnosis recently imparted to Robin and Patrick Murphy regarding their 10 year old son, Ethan.

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Words a parent never wants to hear, “your child has cancer.”  But this was the diagnosis recently imparted to Robin and Patrick Murphy regarding their 10 year old son, Ethan.  Complaining of an ache in his arm, Robin and Pat immediately made an appointment with Ethan’s pediatrician.  An X-ray confirmed an abnormal growth, and Ethan was referred to an orthopedic oncologist at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Manhattan, considered one of the finest medical facilities in the world.  After a battery of tests including a biopsy, it was determined that Ethan has an osteosarcoma of the left humerus.   

For more facts on osteosarcomas, please refer to: http://www.tumorsurgery.org/Portals/0/Bone-Chilling.pdf
It is written by an associate of the orthopedic oncologist Ethan is seeing. As you will see it is rare - only about 600 cases a year. Of those, only about 100 are where Ethan has it, in the arm.

The pediatric oncology/hematology department at Mt. Sinai took immediate action and commenced Ethan’s chemotherapy just two days after the diagnosis.  These treatments will continue until December when the affected area of the bone will be replaced with a metal prosthesis.  A medical oncologist and nurse practitioner will be overseeing Ethan’s treatments.  In addition, a wonderful social worker was assigned to assist with all of the non-medical aspects of this situation: home schooling, insurance and his overall well-being.  After a few weeks of recovery, Ethan will undergo another six months of chemo which will typically be administered in a 3 weekends on/2 weekends off schedule.  All treatments are in-patient, so he will be remaining in Mt. Sinai for three to four days for each therapy, and during off weeks, he will be visiting the clinic for monitoring of his general health and blood count.

A bit of background on Ethan

Though his due date was March 16th and Robin actually went into labor that evening, he did not enter the world until after 4:00 am on the 17th, St. Patrick’s Day.  Ethan was delivered by a Dr. Murphy who started her shift at Midnight on the 17th.  Talk about coincidences!  Now a 5th grader, he excels in school and particularly enjoys math and science. Fortunately, Mr. “C”, his 5th grade teacher, will be home-schooling Ethan since he will be unable to attend classes due to his treatment schedule.  A natural swimmer adept at the backstroke and butterfly, he is a member of the local swim team that competes year round.

His two beloved guinea pigs, Snowball and Nutmeg, cannot accompany him to Mt. Sinai for treatments so Pat and Robin dutifully bring photos of the twosome instead.  A travel aficionado fascinated by airplanes and airports, Ethan often gazes at the sky to scrutinize passing jets.  Easily identifying the aircraft and model, he loves to use the "Flight Tracker" app on his iPad to follow worldwide flights around the globe at any given time.  Family trips to Disney are his favorite, and though it was necessary to postpone a Disney cruise, Ethan is looking forward to completing his treatments so this exciting adventure can be rescheduled.   He nurses a passionate desire to one day explore Tokyo, Japan.

A somewhat picky eater, recently he has been broadening his horizons experimenting with Japanese cuisine. On Sunday morning, he rises early to make the entire family breakfast pancakes.   A real trooper, after losing most of his hair throughout the week and experiencing a rough night due to arm pain, he managed to get up one Sunday to cook his specialty pancakes for his family.

Ethan is a variant of the Hebrew name Eitan which means strong and optimistic. His middle name is Garrett which is of Irish origin and means "brave warrior".  This little man is a fighter and all of Pat’s family, friends, and colleagues are sending positive thoughts his way.

Expenses are already becoming a challenge as the cost of commuting to and from Mt. Sinai from their home on Long Island are prohibitive.  It is our intention to ease the financial strain on Pat and Robin so they may concentrate on devoting their energies to Ethan and his sister, Shayla.

We chose YouCaring and PayPal as our donation partners because they are secure and reliable, collecting only a small portion of the donations (about 3%) meant for Ethan which goes toward transaction fees -- the smallest percentage of all fundraising sites available. Please don't hesitate to contact Kate Lutfy at klutfy@hvs.com if you have any questions. We'd also love to add your photos of Ethan to his Gallery, so pass them along to Kate if you have any! 

If you would like to make a donation directly to Ethan, please do so via Ethan’s YouCaring page. (just make sure the transaction is fully complete and your transaction has posted before closing the window).  Please note: due to the fact that this is a donation to an individual and is not connected with a non-profit organization, your donation will not be tax deductible. Thank you!

Again, thank you so much for your love and support. 

Sincerely,

Ethan’s Team

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Updates

Updates

02/24/2014
by HVS Friends and Colleagues of the Murphy Family
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This past Saturday a fundraiser for Ethan was held at the Jephtha Masonic Lodge in Huntington, NY. You can view pictures of the even here - https://www.facebook.com/EthansFundraiser. The fundraiser was a huge success and it was great to see so many there to support Ethan. Thank you to all who attended and helped make Saturday night such a success.  Special thanks to Amy and Dan Bernzweig, Dan’s Jephtha Brothers, the business and individuals who donated auction items and all involved with organizing the fundraiser. We are so grateful and blessed to have so many looking out for Ethan.

 

Thankfully Ethan was able to attend the benefit for a couple of hours on Saturday. He had a pretty rough week prior with low counts and hospitalization due to a fever.  Luckily he was released from the hospital on Friday night, just in time for Saturday’s fundraiser. He will continue to get chemo until May. He is finally done with the Cisplatin, however, which is probably the worst of the three chemo medicines he gets as far as side-effects are concerned.

 

Once again thank you to all for your support.

 

Pat


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01/09/2014
by HVS Friends and Colleagues of the Murphy Family
I know it has been a while since the last update, but we were busy over the holidays and mostly in a good way.

After the surgery, Ethan was dischared from the hospital on 12/20 - just in time to enjoy Christmas. His recovery from the surgery was up and down, be he is doing much better now. His arm will continue to be in a sling until about the end of January. After that he will be getting physical therapy to get used to the way his arm is going to work from now on.

After staying up late to watch the ball drop on New Years Eve, Ethan went in to the hosptial for his first post-surgery chemo treament on New Years Day. He will need another few months of chemo to make sure everything is taken care of.

For those on Long Island there will be a fundraiser on Sat. 2/22 from 6 pm to 10 pm at the Masonic Lodge in Huntington: 342-344 New York Ave, Huntington, NY 11743. There will be a 50/50 raffle and a Chinese auction. $20 per person - includes light fare and 4 tickets for the auction. For more infomration you can call 631-351-8361.

Thanks again to everyone for your support.
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12/13/2013
by HVS Friends and Colleagues of the Murphy Family
Quick update: The surgery is done and everything went as planned. The procedure took about 9.5 hours, although we waited almost 11 hours to get the news because the procedure started late. We are very relieved and will be going to see Ethan soon.
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12/13/2013
by HVS Friends and Colleagues of the Murphy Family
Ethan went in to the OR at about 8:30 AM this morning. The surgery will last anywhere from 4 to 8 hours. We will keep everyone posted. Thanks for everyone's support and prayers. I added a picture of Ethan and his mom right before the surgery. As you can see he was in good spirits.
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12/09/2013
by HVS Friends and Colleagues of the Murphy Family

This past weekend, Ethan completed his last chemo treatment before the surgery. Speaking of the surgery, we finally have a date - this Friday 12/13. We are glad they were able to schedule the surgery for this date since it gives Ethan time to recover for Christmas. It will be a busy week for Ethan. On Wednesday he gets a pre-operative MRI, a hearing test and a consultation with the orthopedic oncologist who will be performing the surgery. Then on Friday morning the surgery. He needs to be at the hospital at about 6 AM with the surgery scheduled for 8 AM. The surgery will take anywhere from 4 to 8 hours. We will keep you posted.

 

I have uploaded a new photo. It is of Ethan decorating his I.V. with some battery operated LED Christmas lights to get into the spirit of the season. Everyone in the hospital loved it.

Thanks to everyone for their continued support.

Pat




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12/03/2013
by HVS Friends and Colleagues of the Murphy Family

Ethan had a bit of a rollercoaster ride during his 3 weeks off from chemo. During the 2nd week his white blood cell counts were down and he came down with a fever, so he spent most of the week in the hospital. He also had these horrible mouth sores develop that week that were very painful. Thankfully the sores started to feel better after he was released from the hospital and Ethan and I were able to make a trip to Binghamton to visit with relatives the weekend before Thanksgiving. While we were there, we went and cut down a Christmas tree. Special thanks to the Morgans who opened up their tree farm early so Ethan could go pick out a tree. If you are in the area look them up. They are located in the Windsor, NY area and have great trees.

Ethan had a good Thanksgiving week and went back into the hospital for another treatment this past Friday. If all goes well he should be coming home today. We hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and Hanukkah. We have to a lot to be thankful for with so many pulling for Ethan.

I have attached a few new photos - One of Ethan and his cousin Mikey wearing the same shirt. Another is with Ethan working hard with his teacher "Mr. C". There is another at the tree farm with Ethan and his relatives in front of the tree Ethan picked out. Finally there is a picture of Ethan getting his latest treatment.

Pat


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11/12/2013
by HVS Friends and Colleagues of the Murphy Family

Once again, a huge thank you to everyone for your support. Ethan is home from his third weekend of chemotherapy treatment in a row. It was pretty rough for him and he is still recuperating, but he won’t have another treatment until the weekend after Thanksgiving.

 

This past weekend, friends and neighbors of ours held a benefit for Ethan at Rockwells in Smithtown. It was truly an amazing event and a big thank you goes out to those who put it together, donated baskets and prizes for the auction, and those who attended. Special thanks to Rockwells for hosting the event and the local band Hurricane who played great music for everyone. In the photo section I attached a picture of the poster thanking all who donated and a picture of Ethan’s uncle Kevin (my brother) and his Grandpa Harvey (my father-in-law) at the event.

Pat


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11/05/2013
by HVS Friends and Colleagues of the Murphy Family
First of all, a huge thank you to everyone who has donated. The support for Ethan has been nothing short of exceptional and he and his family greatly appreciate it. We will never forget this.

Ethan recently completed his 3rd chemotherapy treatment and will have one more this weekend before having a few weeks off. Ethan was able to sit in the lobby this past weekend for a little while to watch the NYC marathon go by the hospital. We even saw the winners go by. At one point a K-9 officer brought his dog to the window to greet Ethan and that put a smile on his face. After his treatment this coming weekend, he will have a couple more weekends of treatments starting the day after Thanksgiving and then the surgery after that. Surgery date is still TBD.

It has definitely been up and down for Ethan this past month. both physically and emotionally. The chemo has been pretty hard on him, but he is a fighter. He is going get through this, especially knowing that some many people are rallying behind him.

Pat Murphy
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