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Madras boy part of new cancer study

Third round of chemo treatments since age 7


by: SUSAN MATHENY/THE PIONEER - Big brother Cameron Hatch, 11, sits with his twin sisters, Kaylah, left, and Hannah, who just celebrated their first birthday. The twins adore Cameron and crawl around after him at home.Eleven-year-old Cameron Hatch, of Madras, who has medullablastoma brain cancer, has been accepted as one of 50 children across the U.S. to be part of a new cancer treatment study.

Originally diagnosed at age 7, Cameron underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatments and was cancer-free for two years.

However, in November 2012, his cancer returned and he again began monthly rounds of chemotherapy.

At a checkup following 15 months of treatment, his mother Stacie Philibert said, “They found the spot had nearly doubled in size and there were three more spots on his brain and one on his spine. So, the doctors decided to stop his current chemotherapy immediately and start him on a new study, which was just approved by the FDA.”

“This is a brand new study called blood brain barrier disruption, or BBBD, which is a surgical procedure, and he will have to be hospitalized for four days at a time,” Philibert said, noting the treatment is done at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland.

During the procedure, a catheter is surgically inserted into an artery and threaded to the brain to deliver the chemotherapy drugs directly. “It’s 100 times more powerful than anything he’s ever had before,” she said.

After the fourth day, Cameron should be able to go home, but his mom will have to give him daily stomach shots, and he may need to travel to Bend twice a week for transfusions.

The BBBD treatments will continue for 12 months, and MRI and EKG scans have to be done monthly to test for side effects, which include going deaf and blind, or having a stroke or heart attack.

by: SUSAN MATHENY/MADRAS PIONEER - Cameron enjoys riding his scooter at the Madras Skate Park, the weekend before beginning a new treatment.When asked last Friday what he thought about all the trips to Portland for 12 more months of treatment, Cameron just shrugged his shoulders. He’s gotten pretty used to it by now.

At the time, he was accepting hugs from his 1-year-old twin sisters, who were toddling after him, then was out the door to ride his scooter at the skate park; a typical 11-year-old having fun on a summer’s day.

The treatments were scheduled to begin Monday, July 21, and his mom, the twins (because they are still nursing) and her sister-in-law who babysits, will go and stay in Portland each time so his mom can be with him at the hospital.

To help with trip and other expenses, his mom has started a request page on the GoFundMe website ( HYPERLINK "http://www.gofundme.com/Cameronhatch" www.gofundme.com/Cameronhatch). People may also contact her at 541-350-5487.

“We also have five other children … so we need help with childcare back home so my husband can work,” she said. The website lists needs, including school clothes and supplies, and a triplet stroller, since the sister-in-law also has a baby.

“This is pretty much our last treatment option. If this doesn’t work, Cameron will be given medication to slow the tumor down to extend his life somewhat,” his mom said.

“But we’re crossing our fingers, and like the doctor says, we hope this is the magic drug that will cure his cancer,” she said.



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