Contributions can be sent to:
Angels in Action
738 Magie Avenue
Elizabeth, NJ 07208
Prior to March 2000, our daughter Jennifer was enjoying the life of a typical teenager. She was fifteen years old and growing up in the Elmora section of Elizabeth, New Jersey. Jennifer was enrolled in the Gifted and Talented program in her school, maintaining high grades, playing in the school band and singing in the school chorus. She was a sports loving kid who had been part of the Elmora Youth Athletic League since she was five years old. In March 2000 all that changed. She complained that she was having trouble reading the blackboard at school. We made an appointment with an eye doctor. The doctor informed us that glasses would not help and scheduled an MRI for the following day. The MRI showed that Jennifer had lesions on her brain. During a brain biopsy in April, doctors determined that the tumor wasn’t operable. Her optic nerve tumor is located on the optic nerve behind her eye and continues into the brain stem. The parts of the brain it covers render it inoperable. Doctors call it a very rare type of tumor. We took her to hospitals in Boston, Philadelphia and New York, but doctors told us that there was no written protocol for Jen’s cancer since it normally strikes children between the ages of 3 and 7. She underwent chemotherapy treatments for about four months, but became too ill and the chemotherapy was discontinued.
We began looking for alternative treatment and found Dr. S.R. Burzynski’s clinic in Houston, Texas. Dr. Burzynski was having success with an alternate treatment for brain tumors. There were two issues to come to terms with in making our decision. The first was the expense. The treatments cost $9,800 a month and, since they were not yet F.D.A. approved, would not be reimbursed by insurance. The second was that the treatments would be administered 2,000 miles away in Houston, Texas. We decided that we would place our hope and trust in Dr. Burzynski and Jennifer started treatments in December of 2000. Through credit cards and community fundraisers we have been able to afford the treatments to date, but we realize we have a long way to go.
Jennifer is still on treatments at this time (March 2001) and, while the M.R.I. done in February 2001 shows no reduction in size, the doctors believe that the tumor appears less dense. It may be beginning to break down! Another M.R.I. is to be scheduled for late April or early May 2001. We are hopeful that the treatment continues to show deterioration of the tumor.
John and Noreen Ciano