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Meet John B., Parent Mentor at Akron Children's Hospital

John's Story

My name is John. I am a retired Deputy Sheriff and paramedic/firefighter of over twenty five years of service. This is the story of my daughter who was diagnosed when she was nine years old with cancer.

In the fall of the year 2002, October 28th to be exact, my daughter was taken ill with stomach pain. The pain was severe enough that she was sent home from school. The pain was bad and we felt we should take our daughter in to Akron Children's Hospital.

Upon our arrival in the emergency room the staff was awesome. They went to work on Carrie right away trying to pinpoint the source of the pain. With no success locating the problem it was thought that it may just be a stomach ache from eating all the Halloween candy. After returning home we all went to bed. During the night Carrie came into sleep with us and she was still hurting. The next morning my wife went to work and I stayed home with Carrie. I was retired at the time so I was able to monitor her closely.

The rest of the day Carrie was in pain and I told her mom she should go back in to the Emergency for further evaluation.

Once at Children's hospital, the staff began further examination. After exhausting most every kind of test the ER doctor called Dr. Tim Pittinger who is a surgeon.

Dr. Pittinger ordered a CT scan and said to call him if they find something.

The CT scan was administered and the staff was shocked at what they found. As the CT scan was finishing the doctors found a large tumor the size of a grapefruit on Carrie's left ovary. They immediately called Dr. Pittinger with their findings. Dr. Pittinger told them to admit Carrie and he would clear his morning schedule because that needed to be removed as soon as possible.

In the morning, Dr. Pittinger came into Carrie's room. He explained to us about the good cell or the bad cell and he felt that chances were good it would be the good cell meaning non-malignant.

Dr Pittinger said if by chance it was the bad cell or malignant he would remove everything he felt needed removed and we agreed. The surgery lasted 3 hours so the waiting began. After walking with Carrie to the surgical unit we kissed her and said it would fine.

We settled in at the waiting room lounge area and began our wait.

After three hours there was no news we waited and waited and finally five hours later Dr. Pittinger came out to meet with us. The waiting room was empty by then and we were alone. As Dr. Pittinger sat down he had a tear in his eye. He asked if we remembered the talk about the good and bad cell and we said yes. He then said that unfortunately, Carrie had the bad cell. He told us that she was cancer free as he removed the tumor and took a biopsy of the surrounding area. The tumor was intact and our next step would be to meet Dr. Steve Kuerbitz who is an oncologist.

Dr. Kuerbitz arrived and we began discussing what the next move would be. Dr. Kuerbitz said our life that we once knew would be no more, we would have to find a new normal and that the next few months would be a roller coaster ride and so it was.

Today Carrie is "25" years old in great health and has been cured. She is working full time and going to college.

We are blessed.

John is a parent mentor for these conditions: Cancer, Tumor.

John is a mentor for these care services: Cancer

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John B. is a parent mentor for these conditions: Cancer, Tumor . John B. is a parent mentor for these care services: Cancer .

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