Stephen’s Story

In October 2004 Stephen complained of stomach aches. After seeing our doctor he was told he had mono and needed extra rest. Stephen continued to have a stomach ache and started losing weight and becoming lethargic. A mass was discovered during a checkup in January and we were immediately sent to see a Pediatric Surgeon. The surgeon advised us of the severity of the situation and we were set up for a surgery date.

On February 1, 2005 Stephen underwent an 8 1/2 hour surgery where half of his liver was removed and we were told of his cancer, Fibrolamellar Hepatocellular Carcinoma. After healing Stephen did four months of chemo and was then told he had no traceable cancer. Stephen continued to go to school and play soccer on his high school team as well as play competitively in a club soccer league.

In March of 2006 the cancer had returned and he tried more chemo. The cancer had spread despite the chemo and we were lucky enough to be referred to a surgeon in Pittsburgh, PA. who agreed to do the operation. A double surgery was performed to remove cancer from his liver as well as his chest. Again Stephen recovered well and had more chemo. In April of 2007 we traveled yet again to Pittsburgh for more surgery on his liver and lungs. Afterwards Stephen came home and did six weeks of intensive radiation everyday. A new experimental chemo was granted and Stephen traveled every week from Tucson to Santa Monica for his chemo and blood work.

In October of 2007 Stephen’s ammonia level went up to 411. A normal range is up to 25. He became confused and unstable. At this time he was intubated and the doctors were unsure of his outcome. Stephen pulled through and was able to come home on a protein restricted diet. All chemo had to be stopped while his body was trying to reset. We never gave up hope.

Stephen was entered into hospice the second week of January. Fighting until the end, Stephen passed away on January 14, 2008. This site is dedicated in his memory and serves to help all children and their families dealing with cancer, because no child should ever have to suffer.

Stephen’s Photo Albums

Relay for Life 2006

Fundraiser 2007