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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.