Throughout Hockey Fights Cancer Month, the Islanders are recognizing people who have overcome giant obstacles and survived this terrible disease. Five of these special survivors are members of the Survivors Facing Forward Program at Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York, located in Great Neck, NY. Today, let’s meet Luke…
Luke, Rhabdomyosarcoma Survivor
Diagnosed at age 19 months
At 19 months old I was diagnosed with Rhabdomysosarcoma and I spent nearly a year at Cohen Children’s Medical Center (CCMC), including Christmas. My parents tell me that we didn’t “miss Christmas” at all – Santa came to visit me Christmas morning and gave me a toy truck and the social work staff cleared out a conference room for us to have Christmas dinner with our family. My grandparents, aunts and uncles all showed up with food and we had a great holiday feast!
At age 12 I am a patient in the Survivors Facing Forward program at CCMC and I am attending middle school in Massapequa. I am excelling in my classes and involved in karate, baseball, golf and basketball. I was a finalist in my district’s science fair the past two years in a row, and I’m excited to be a part of the Science Olympiad team this year! Strange as it may seem, our family looks back at our time at CCMC with fondness, not despair. We have come to actually miss the environment and people that have moved on to welcome other families into their home.
As a leading center of pediatric oncology, the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York sees approximately 200 new cases of childhood cancer every year. This results in hundreds of childhood cancer survivors requiring ongoing care. Survivors Facing Forward is a program designed to meet the complex needs of these survivors, as well as others from the New York area. The program crosses disciplines, providing coordinated access to oncology, endocrinology, pulmonology, cardiology, psychology, nutrition and other specialists as needed. For more information, CLICK HERE.
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Cancer doesn’t take a day off and neither will the Islanders organization as we join the fight to find a cure for cancer. If you’d like to team up with the Islanders fight and help more patients survive like Luke, you can MAKE A DONATION HERE.