Ewing Sarcoma: Jacob’s Story

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When Jacob was 11, he began experiencing intermittent pain in his right leg. Since the pain came and went, he continued playing sports, but the pain worsened, and one night, it was so bad that it woke him up from his sleep.

Jacob His mothers, Cinde and Carly, took him to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s (CHOP) Urgent Care. An X-ray revealed a mass, which sent the family rushing to CHOP’s Emergency Department on the Philadelphia Campus, where Jacob was diagnosed with a rare pediatric bone cancer known as Ewing sarcoma, which had caused a large tumor to develop in his femur.

Cinde and Carly knew that CHOP was the best place for Jacob: “We believed in our hearts that whatever was needed in order to provide the safest and necessary care for Jacob would be at our fingertips.” His tumor required the expertise of both the oncologists in the Cancer Center and the surgeons from the Division of Orthopaedics —  two CHOP Programs that are currently ranked #1 in the nation.

Jacob’s oncology treatment included 14 rounds of chemotherapy lasting a year. Halfway through the treatment, he underwent a surgical procedure attempting to remove the entire tumor while saving his leg. Orthopaedic surgeons from both CHOP and Penn Medicine worked together over 12 hours replace his femur with cadaver bone. Unfortunately, not all the cancer could be removed, so after much research and multiple opinions, the family made the decision to amputate Jacob’s leg above the knee.

Now 13, Jacob has been cancer-free for a year. While the COVID-19 pandemic hampered some of his rehabilitation, he’s walking again, with a goal to run up the Philadelphia Art Museum steps. He’s found a passion for helping other children diagnosed with cancer, and his dream is to become a CHOP pediatric oncologist.

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