We were inspired to create Little Hero Foundation to help others after our son Ben was diagnosed with liver cancer at 5 months old. We have been incredibly lucky despite the frightening diagnosis, and Ben is doing great now that he is finished treatment. Ben is an active and daring toddler, and is truly the sweetest and most social little boy.
During treatment, Ben’s cancer tumor responded to the intense chemotherapy given, and he was able to have lifesaving liver resection surgery. Nonetheless, chemotherapy was tough on Ben, and we spent nearly 100 nights in the hospital primarily due to the effects of the harsh chemotherapy drugs. He needed many blood and platelet transfusions to keep him alive, and he dealt with a lot of pain necessitating strong pain medications and nutrition by IV. Going forward, Ben will need hearing aids to hear high-pitched noises as the chemo damaged the hair cells in his ears, and we want to ensure that he has proper language development.
Ben will continue to be monitored for his cancer marker levels—we hope and pray more than anything that the cancer never comes back. He will also have to be monitored for other significant potential long-term side effects from the chemo including: heart function issues, kidney function issues, infertility and leukemia.
The chemotherapy treatments given to Ben were over 30 years old, and while the chemo does most importantly destroy cancer cells, it is also devastating to healthy cells.
Little Hero Foundation was formed to further the goals of a better tomorrow, by funding research for more direct and less harmful cancer treatments, and a brighter today for families in the trenches, fighting for their child’s life.