In the summer of 1999, my brother Danny had pain in his arm and was unable to straighten it all the way. He was then 14 years old. My parents took him to an orthopedic doctor who diagnosed him with tendonitis. Since my brother played the drums, we assumed it came from that.
After going through physical therapy and cortisone injections, his pain worsened. My parents took him to a different doctor who immediately ordered an MRI. Once the MRI was performed, my mother felt something serious was wrong. The radiologist came out and asked many questions and even examined my brother’s arm. The MRI showed what they thought to be either a cyst or benign tumor. Surgery was scheduled. By this time my brother was now 15 years old.
Surgery was done and pathology revealed Synovial Sarcoma in the left elbow. A second surgery was performed weeks later to achieve clear margins. After healing, my brother underwent 6 weeks of radiation also. Chemotherapy was not recommended due to the small size of the tumor and it being low grade.
My brother is now a 15 year cancer survivor!
He is now 30 years old and recently married the love of his life, Gretchen, who he began dating at age 15 during his radiation treatments!
My brother was treated at The University of Pennsylvania Hospital by sarcoma specialist, Dr. Richard Lackman. We are thankful each and everyday that my brother’s cancer was caught early and he is living a happy and healthy life!
Pictured is Dan with his family at his wedding in November 2014. Left to Right: sister Melissa, who is also the president & founder of Bella-Reed Pit Bull Rescue, father Edward, wife Gretchen, Danny himself, and mother Susan.
If you or a loved one has been impacted by sarcoma cancer, we encourage you to share your story. Sharing your story can be such an inspiration to others who are dealing with sarcoma in their own life and remind us all of the urgency to find better treatments in order to make an impact on the devastation that sarcoma cancer brings. Let your experiences help others become involved with raising awareness!