Source: Indys Child Parenting Magazine

Hope in the Midst of Childhood Cancer
Story of a local survivor

by Dr. Bassem Razzouk

September 01, 2011

This year across the U.S., more than 12,000 children will be diagnosed with cancer. And 3,000 of them will not survive the disease. Undoubtedly, a cancer diagnosis can turn the lives of a child and family upside down.

Just ask Luke Goin and his family.

Age 15 at the time, Luke began experiencing shoulder pain. His mother, Kathy, took him to the doctor expecting a routine injury diagnosis.

“Luke had been wrestling with some friends, so I thought maybe he had just bruised his arm,” Kathy says. “Two weeks later, he was still experiencing pain and a bump had developed on his shoulder, so we went to our family physician.”

Initially, it was thought Luke had broken his collarbone, but after undergoing a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, Luke was referred to Bruce Rougraff, M.D., pediatric bone tumor specialist at OrthoIndy.

The last thing she expected to hear was the word “cancer.”

A biopsy revealed malignant sarcoma. Sarcomas typically develop in supportive tissues around bones and organs, but they can be treated with radiation and chemotherapy.

The long road of treatment

The Goins were referred to the Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St.Vincent, where Luke underwent 14 rounds of chemotherapy—eight before undergoing surgery to remove part of his collarbone and six following his procedure. After surgery, with some live cells still present, Luke underwent 28 days of radiation.

And, in August 2010, the ordeal was over. Luke’s cancer was gone.

Care for a family member

Looking back, though, the Goins believe they were able to endure such a difficult and scary time in part because of the care they received at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St.Vincent.

“The whole medical staff took time to meet his every need, whether it was physical, mental or emotional. I was confident he was receiving the best care possible,” Kathy shares. “Everyone, from our family, friends and church to the oncologists, child life specialists and housekeeping staff, was so supportive. They treated us like we were part of their own family.”

Today, Luke settled again into school, running track and dreaming about becoming an engineer one day.