Hope – Mark Dungan, and Sydney

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Hope is a huge part of fighting neuroblastoma. Mark Dungan shared the beautiful story of his daughter Sydney, who was diagnosed 10 years ago yesterday, and is now a brilliant, happy 12 year old young lady. Here’s her story…

“On June 21, 2003, almost at this very moment, Sydney was diagnosed with NMYC amp. stage 4 NB. What followed that was chemo, and surgery, and transplant, and radiation, and CH14.18 and Accutane, and everything else that went along with all of it. What followed that was a relapse and more high dose chemo, and more radiation, and more antibodies and more phase 1 drugs than I choose to remember (although I can). Oh, and how can I forget, there were hundreds of posts to the list. This, after al,l was where I maintained my strength and my sanity for my family.

And then when followed that?

Well, a remission, for one…

And then years…

And years…

Today, Sydney is 12 years old (going on 16;)). She is a straight A student heading into the 6th grade. She was honored as a Duke scholar thanks to some standardized testing (and a mess load of smarts from her mom). In two weeks, she is headed to Chicago to compete in the USTA National Championships in Tae Kwon Do.

We are so incredibly blessed.

Sure, she has some high pitch hearing loss, some thin hair, an affinity for boys, and the same mess load of long term risks all of our kids have, but…

She is here.

She is whole.

And she is happy!

What more could a father ask?

I seem to remember many nights looking for a glimmer of hope on this list. I hope Sydney’s story gives you one when you need it.

With hope,
Mark – father to Sydney (dx 6/21/2003, stage 4NB, NMYC amp., a3973, Anbl0032, 3f8, Nestlé vaccine), Graham (my 9 year old mini me) and Ainsley ( the most beautiful and brilliant little 8 year old twerp you will ever meet)”