I apologize for my delay. I took a few days off to be with family, but am back at the desk.
Thank you so much for sharing Meghan’s story with me. What a beautiful expression of caring and compassion towards Eli and all children who struggle with these horrible cancers. When we diagnose a teenage woman with cancer, almost always their first question is “Will I lose my hair??” When we tell them “YES”, they start to cry. Their hair is such an integral part of their identity. Paul, I loved your comment that “one’s hair doesn’t make them beautiful, their heart does”. How true that is. Meghan, as someone who cares for children from all over the Midwest who suffer from cancer, efforts from caring individuals such as you mean SO MUCH to these children. It seems so simple, but it means SO MUCH. I just cannot tell you how much it means for these children to not feel alone or forgotten. They sacrifice an incredible amount and it takes a toll on them and their entire family, as Mr. Matthews knows very well. Thank you for taking the initiative and time to show everyone in your community that these children are not alone, not forgotten and we are working as hard as we can on their behalf.
I’m honored to be mentioned by you and to assist in Eli’s wishes to fight childhood cancer. I will be in Minneapolis next week for the spring Children’s Oncology Group meetings where I will discuss my latest research findings in high-risk ALL and infant leukemia. We have some new genetic results from our infant leukemia studies that I hope will grow into a much larger research program in the near future. With all of these results, we believe we can diagnose children more accurately and treat them right away with a plan that offers them the best chance of survival. It’s a small step, but small steps still get you to your destination.
God bless all of you, God bless Eli and thank you for your efforts toward finding cures for childhood cancer. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if I can provide any assistance or information.
Todd E. Druley, M.D., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Genetics
Division of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology
Center for Genome Sciences and Systems Biology
Washington University School of Medicine