In the fall of 2014, Eli was enjoying football season and his 7th grade year. A lymph node swelled on his neck right after Christmas. We took Eli to the doctor and had him treated for what was assumed to be an infection. After two full rounds of antibiotics, the lymph node wasn’t improving. We were sent to our ENT where ultimately a biopsy was done. It was then that they discovered a tumor was growing in Eli’s nasal cavity. On March 6th, 2015 our lives changed forever. Eli was diagnosed with Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma. Within a couple of days we were connected with the Rare Solid Tumor Team. Eli has Stage 4 Cancer. This type of Cancer is diagnosed in very few children across the United States, even fewer in this stage. Eli immediately began treatment with 6 weeks of inpatient chemotherapy and 9 weeks of radiation. This part of our journey ended in September of 2015 with a scan that showed no disease is present.
However , we scanned again in November, and the Cancer had returned in Eli’s lungs. Once again, his doctors had to come up with what could be done. Because Eli had already followed protocol treatment, our only options were trial drugs and/or immunotherapy. It was decided that we would send Eli’s blood to begin the 3 month process for immunotherapy. In the meantime, we would begin infusions of a new drug called Nivolumab. Eli began his first infusion right after Christmas of 2015. He has seen great success with it. So much so, that we have not traveled to treatment because in Eli’s last scan his Cancer had decreased significantly from the Nivolumab. Eli has been a true warrior throughout this entire battle with Cancer. His attitude is one of strength and courage. As we travel back and forth to the hospital every other week, he has grown to appreciate his life outside of the hospital walls so much more. He has a long way to go in the fight against this beast, but having the support of his family and friends makes even the hard days a little bit easier.
Eli plays golf on the 8th grade team and JV team and loves Alabama football and really, all sports! He also enjoys paddle boarding and camping
Every child who has been diagnosed with childhood cancer inspires us to Rally On to find better treatments with fewer long-term side effects and, ultimately, cures. Please join us in the fight against childhood cancer by making a donation or setting up your own Rally fundraiser today.