img_0891When our youngest son, Brody, was only 3 years old we heard the words no parent ever dreams of hearing: “Your son has cancer.” We were completely devastated by Brody’s diagnosis of Stage IV high risk neuroblastoma, carrying it with a survival rate,
at best, of fifty percent. We soon learned that he would endure 6 rounds of intense chemotherapy, major tumor resection surgery, stem cell transplant and immunotherapy.

We decided to have Brody treated at our local children’s hospital in Tucson, Arizona. However, because of the critical and delicate surgery that the tumor resection would require, we sought out the nation’s expert. Unfortunately, the surgeon was located clear across the country at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

We had great jobs that allowed us the flexibility to always be by Brody’s side during treatment. And yes, we had fantastic insurance that did not cause too much of a financial strain on our family during this difficult time. What we didn’t have was a way to
get our son to Philadelphia due to his comprised immune system.

Mitch so graciously offered his expertise, time and airplane to fly Brody and his parents to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia twice so that Brody was able to be placed in expert hands to receive the life-changing operation that he so desperately needed. We could not risk bringing Brody into an airport and flying on a commercial flight during this fragile time.

Mitch was such a critical piece in Brody’s road to recovery and we are all forever grateful to him and his generosity. Mitch made it possible to get Brody to his surgeon in a sterile environment. Any infection, even a common cold, could have taken Brody’s life. The threat is real and we know too many families that have lived this nightmare.

We are so thankful to be celebrating Brody today- 3 1/2 years cancer-free!!! THANK YOU!!!

Sara C. Derrick
Brody’s mom

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