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    Cancer, Peanut Allergies & A Mother’s Love

    October 7, 2011 •  one comment.

     •  Blog, News

    Written by Jody Fariello for AllergyKids Foundation October 7, 2011

    When AllergyKids first learned of Jody’s story four years ago from a friend who lost his daughter to an allergic reaction, we shared it in an effort to help support her efforts to “Rescue Roman,” a little boy who had been diagnosed with cancer at the age of 18 months. The prognosis was not good. According to the Centers for Disease Control, cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in children under the age of fifteen, and researchers now estimate that 90% of all cancers are environmentally triggered (Mt. Sinai School of Medicine).

    But four and a half years later, overcoming remarkable odds, Jody is celebrating the 6th birthday of her gorgeous son, Roman, and her story speaks to the remarkable power of love, courage and dedication. Jody is a beautiful friend who gently reminds us:

    “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can as long as you ever can.” ~John Wesley

    So, today, on her son’s 6th birthday, we invited Jody to share her story. Happy Birthday, Sweet Roman. Please hug your mom for us.

    Written by Jody Fariello for AllergyKids Foundation October 7, 2011

    Roman Michael Fariello was born a healthy baby boy on October 7th, 2005. He topped the scales at 9 pounds 6 ounces! He was the perfect picture of health until he ate some peanut butter ice cream bites at the age of 13 months old. It was then that a blood test proved that he had a peanut allergy. We were totally devastated with this news. Little did we know our world was about to be turned upside down on a much larger scale a few months down the road.

    At the ripe old age of just 18 months, Roman presented to us a very swollen and black and blue right eye. He had previously fallen on a toy so we thought he was bruised from the fall. His eye was so swollen it was almost shut completely. We took him to our pediatrician and he referred us to an ophthalmologist. He wanted to give it a week to see of the swelling would go down. It didn’t. So, on April 25th 2007, Roman had a CT Scan of his head that revealed a tumor that had broken through his frontal part of his skull bone above his right eye. More scans revealed a tumor on his right adrenal gland and also in his bone marrow. The cancer Roman was diagnosed with is a very deadly and aggressive form of childhood cancer called Stage 4 High Risk Neuroblastoma.

    From April ’07 to July ’08, he completed the following: 7 rounds of deadly chemo,( or life- saving chemo depending how you look at it), a stem cell harvest, 3 surgeries, a stem cell transplant, 12 rounds of local radiation, 5 rounds of oral chemo (Accutane) at home and all the while getting multiple life- saving blood and platelet transfusions. During the past 4 years, Roman has endured numerous CT Scans and MIBG Scans, far too many to count. It is safe to say that Roman has endured A TON in the first 6 years of his very young life. Most adults haven’t even gone through what he has gone through in their lifetimes.

    Going to “his” hospital is like home to him. He loves his doctor so much! He likes watching the nurses put IV’s into his arm or hand to get blood to make sure they are doing things right and he sits perfectly still for everything and anything that is tossed at him. Roman could teach many adults a thing or two about patience, I am quite sure. As his 6Th Birthday is just about here, I am even more amazed at all the things he can do in school. More amazed that this little guy has had everything bad happen to him from scary and possible deadly peanut allergy to stage 4 deadly cancer. To us being told that he only has a 33% chance to survive his cancer, to him just making Panther of the Month in his class. From him reading and writing so doggone well in kindergarten with no trouble, to a tiny bit of a high frequency hearing loss in the right ear. To look at him, no one would ever know what he has been through. And the best part of all is he does everything with a smile on his sweet little face! He never stops amazing me. I am in awe of my son. I am one blessed mother. I am one blessed cancer mother! I am one very proud mother. I don’t know what the future holds for Roman with his peanut allergy or his stage 4 Neuroblastoma. But, what I do know is that my son is miracle walking. Each day is blessing and each day is a gift.


    To learn more about how you can support Jody and the Fariello family in their efforts to “Rescue Roman,” please visit: www.rescueroman.org

    To learn more about how you can protect the health of your loved ones, please visit the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine .

      One Response to “Cancer, Peanut Allergies & A Mother’s Love”

      1. Tears of JOY!

        Roman is an Miracle…

        Jody is an amazing warrior mom.

        Happy Birthday ROMAN!

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