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Erin Chance describes the feeling of finding out her son relapsed, and referring oncologist Dr. Thomas McClean his role in helping a family through that.
This video series is designed to help referring oncologists and families better understand the different treatment options for patients with difficult or hard to treat cancers. As one of the largest pediatric cancer programs in the country, the Cancer Center at CHOP has dedicated teams of specialists, with focused experience on a certain type of cancer, and often times can offer patients access to certain therapies and protocols, that can’t be found elsewhere. The Center works with oncologists and families from all over the world to integrate some of these therapies into their existing treatment programs at home, to create a stronger treatment plan that works for the families.
Erin Chance, Mother of Patrick: In many ways, Patrick is your typical 8-year-old boy.
He loves LEGOs. He loves games. He loves his dogs. He has two sisters that he plays with and enjoys. He loves to go fishing with my husband. That's his biggest thing.
When he was first diagnosed, I think the overwhelming feeling is sort of shock and disbelief. I remember for the first week or so really being in a daze, not really believing that your child actually has cancer because you know as a parent, one of the things that you fear most is that your child would get a terminal disease or a very serious disease like cancer, and so to hear those words actually come out of a doctor's mouth is very shocking. So I think being overwhelmed would be a very good way to describe it.
The doctors told us to take things day by day because it really is an unpredictable lifestyle. So when Patrick's cancer didn't clear, we started doing a lot of research and CHOP was one of the very first places that we learned about that was in the forefront of cancer research, especially neuroblastoma research with their Genomics Department and their cutting-edge research that you cannot get anywhere else.
Thomas W. McLean, MD: When I refer patients, I want them to go to the best.
I want them to go to a highly regarded, well-respected institution where I know they're going to be well taken care of and have good care. And a place like CHOP certainly fits that description.