Maryland's Health Matters - UMMS - Spring 2014 - (Page 1)
University of Maryland
specializes in treating
patients 21 and
younger with critical
and chronic illnesses
evers come with the territory when raising a toddler;
the thermometer goes up when the body reacts
to both minor and major illnesses. A fever is not
a disease but a sign of illness-and in the case of
18-month-old Jaidan Richardson, a persistent fever
pointed to something serious.
Jaidan's mom, Ericka Richardson of Baltimore, had grown
increasingly concerned about his frequent ear infections and
a stubborn fever. The family's primary care physician referred
them to University of Maryland Children's Hospital, where
blood tests revealed something severe: Jaidan had acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a cancer of the blood and bone marrow.
"We were in total shock by his diagnosis," Ericka Richardson
recalls. "At first, you're thinking it might be anemia or a virus.
You never think cancer."
Jaidan, now 9, has been cancer-free for two years. As with
most types of cancer, his road to remission is long with frequent trips to the hospital and some unexpected turns.
MOST COMMON CANCER IN CHILDREN
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a fast-growing type of
Jaidan Richardson, 9, has been cancer-free
for two years after treatment at University of
Maryland Children's Hospital. "The doctors,
nurses and staff were so in tune to how my
family was doing," says his mother, Ericka.
white blood cell called a lymphocyte, which progresses quickly
if left untreated. Normal lymphocytes help the body fight infections, but with ALL the lymphocytes are cancerous. The cancer
grows quickly and crowds out the bone marrow, preventing it
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Maryland's Health Matters - UMMS - Spring 2014
Maryland's Health Matters - UMMS - Spring 2014