Maryland's Health Matters - UMMS - Spring 2014 - (Page 1)

SPOTLIGHT: Serious Care for Kids University of Maryland Children's Hospital specializes in treating patients 21 and younger with critical and chronic illnesses F 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