Monday, September 8, 2014

Fort Thomas Youth Raising Funds, Awareness For Histio/Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Joey Holt of Fort Thomas organized a lemonade stand to raise money and awareness for rare diseases and childhood cancer at this year's July 4th Parade in Fort Thomas/FTM file
September is Histio and Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and a Fort Thomas youngster is taking action to raise awareness and funds to combat the rare childhood diseases.

These two illnesses are very similar - they both can attack skin, bone and organs, both can require organ transplants, BMT, surgery, long hospital stays and surgery. Both have survivors and angels. Honestly, the only difference is, you have never heard of Histiocytosis. It also doesn’t receive government funding.

Doctors argue whether or not it is a cancer but it is definitely treated as one. However, not many doctors or parents have ever even heard of this disease so getting a diagnosis before it's too late is often difficult.

Twelve-year-old Joey Holt of Fort Thomas was diagnosed at age 10 with Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis. It ate his hip bone away causing him to need a graft, spend months in a wheel chair, live which chronic debilitating pain that keeps him out of school for weeks at a time, take steroids, and require physical therapy for the last two years. 

His friend Sophia Lopez from New York is 4 and lives at the Ronald McDonald House in Cincinnati because she has Hemophagocyticlymphohistiocytosis and needs daily treatment. She has had a BMT, chemo and many other treatments. 

Ian Anderson, 18 of Anderson, suffers from LCH in his pituitary gland. He is undergoing chemo and has dealt with many side effects of the disease. 

Emily and Evan Marshall of Columbus miss their little sister, who passed away from LCH just after her first birthday. It took so long to be diagnosed that, by the time she was, it was too late.

These kids have managed to meet each other through fundraisers and hospital visits (if you have this disease you want to be in Cincinnati or Texas). They are determined to raise awareness and funds for research for Histio. Last month they hosted a bake sale in Fort Thomas. 

Upcoming events include:

On Sunday, Sept. 14 from 1-4 they will host a dog wash at Dirty Hairy's Dog Spa at 18 N. Fort Thomas Ave.

Some of the kids and their families are participating in the Histio Hike Ohio Sept. 26-26 at Shawnee State Park, not only to raise money and awareness, but also to bring together the families dealing with this horrible disease. Holt says he loves the hike because he actually feels normal there. 

The kids also got together this past weekend to make this video in hopes they will raise awareness and funds for research:



Please help these kids raise awareness for Histio in hopes of someday finding a cure. Visit www.histio.org for more information.

- Press release

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