CANCER FREE as of April 2, 2014
No evidence of disease, however the battle continues with Immunotherapy.
Jillian’s Army is dedicated to helping 3 4 year old Jillian win her battle against Stage 4 Neuroblastoma Cancer. She was diagnosed on July 11, 2013 and began her first round of chemotherapy that night.
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Jillian’s Soldiers of the Month – July 2014
The staff of Strong Memorial Hospital/Golisano Children’s Hospital/Wilmot Cancer Center Sixth Floor in Rochester, New York
by Paula Woolman
During Jillian’s stem cell harvesting, Amber and Jesse were told that their insurance did not have an authorized stem cell transplant hospital located within Las Vegas. There was also a question as to whether her tumor resection surgery would be able to be performed in Las Vegas. Jesse began researching hospitals and with his family’s help, he quickly focused on Strong Memorial Hospital located in Rochester, New York. Jesse’s uncle, Mike Moore, visited the facility and was impressed by the staff and facility there. This was how Jesse came in contact with Dr. Jeffrey Andolina who became Jillian’s New York oncologist.
Dr. Andolia received his MD from the University of Virginia School of Medicine and is the Assistant Professor of Pediatrics Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Strong Memorial. He took an immediate interest in Jillian’s case, and collaborated directly with her medical team in Las Vegas to ensure that she would receive the best possible care. Dr. Andolina put the crucial matter of Jillian’s tumor resection surgery in the capable hands of Dr. Walter Pegoli.
Dr. Pegoli is the Chief of Pediatric Surgery, Surgeon-in-Chief at the Golisano Children’s Hospital located within Strong Memorial Hospital. He stood up to the challenge of performing Jillian’s surgery while other doctors were not up to the daunting task of removing Jillian’s tumor, which was attached to many blood vessels. The surgery was anticipated to take 4-6 hours and was a great success being completed in only 3, with all of the live tumor and most of the associated “dead” tumor being removed. Amber and Jesse have no doubt that the tumor removal surgery has been a key component in how well Jillian responded to treatment after tumor resection and stem cell transplant. Dr. Pegoli is largely responsible for Jillian’s current “No Evidence of Disease” (NED) status.
In addition to the incredible doctors at Strong/Golisano, there are amazing nurses and support staff who did everything in their power to offer the best treatment to Jillian as well as make her and Amber feel as comfortable as possible in a hospital thousands of miles away from home.
The nurses enjoyed Jillian’s singing performances when she was feeling well enough to do so, and one even taught her some ballet positions. Once, Jillian was brought a meal by the food service staff and she announced that she would like an avocado. The food service staff person told Amber he would go get one, and Amber refused as it was about a 45 minute walk across the hospital to the kitchen. They insisted on bringing the avocado and informed Amber this was their home and the least that could be done would be to honor a simple request. It is that treatment that both Amber and Jillian remember to this day. During subsequent hospitalizations, Jillian has asked to go back to New York. This is remarkable and a testimony to the hospital and it’s staff, being at a time when she felt awful and was also in critical condition.
The gratitude and love the Moore family has for the Golisano Children’s Hospital staff, specifically those on the sixth floor of the Wilmot Cancer Center, is difficult to explain but I am going to try. They believe Jillian is still alive because of their decision to seek treatment at Strong. To think that the medical and support staff do this day in and day out for numerous patients is astounding, and this is why they are the July 2014 Jillian’s Army Soldiers of the Month to whom we give a heartfelt SALUTE!!!!!
(More info from Amber)
I would also like to add a few shoutouts here… The Nurse Manager Tammy in WCC6 – she made the girls name badges like the staff had and she always had candy in her office..Jilli knew that and liked to make frequent stops in there on her walks around the hall! An extra special thanks to Shaun for driving me to get Jilli a donut so I didn’t have to walk in the snow when the temp was a balmy -1 and for taking such good care of us…you have no idea how much that meant! There were other doctors on Andolina’s team.. Dr. Korones, Dr. Bruckner, and Dr. Norohna…Thank you! And our a gal who was our nurse A LOT Christina..you taught Jilli ballet and she STILL wants to take classes when she is “all better” I think you were her favorite. She always would talk about you..Thank you! There really were so many others and my crazy brain can’t remember all the names, but WCC6 was the best place for us to be and I am very appreciative for the love and care you ALL gave us. SALUTE!!!!
Physician biographical information provided by The University of Rochester Medical Center.
Click here to see the previous Soldiers of the Month
Wristbands are available for online purchase and there are also local businesses where you can buy various designs. All proceeds go to the Moore family. Get yours here.