Ricky's Page
Superman and his mom
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Ricky's Oncologist
NYU Medical Center
Gardner/Finlay High Dose Chemo Paper
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Authors:
Richard & Christina
Name:
richard@trezza.us
Email:
Richard Francis Trezza II was born June 7, 2001, the third child of Richard and Christina. Ricky has two older sisters, Gabriella and Marissa. His mom, dad and sisters have adored him from the moment he arrived.

On August 10, 2002, Ricky was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a form of pediatric brain cancer affecting approximately 5 out of 1,000,000 children born. His symptoms included a "lazy left eye" that was observed by his mom in May, 2002 and sporadic, inexplicable vomiting that began in July, 2002. Neither his pediatrician nor pediatric opthamologist suspected a brain tumor was the cause of these symptoms.

On August 8,  Ricky had vomited seven times that morning, so Christina brought him to the emergency room. After 2 days of observation and gastroin-testinal examinations, the hospital staff concluded Ricky's vomiting was due to pyloric spasm and he could be treated with Zantac at home. He was scheduled to be discharged on August 10.

It was only at Christina's insistance that the doctors agreed to perform a CAT scan of Ricky's brain. Christina's decision had saved Ricky's life. After the mass was discovered on the CAT scan, an MRI followed, and by that evening, we knew that life would never be the same. Our baby was placed in ICU, preped for brain surgery and we were meeting with neurosurgeons, oncologists, radiologists and others as we prepared for the worst.
Ricky underwent brain surgery on August 11 to remove the life threatening mass that was growing at the base of his brain in the fourth ventricle, near his brain stem. He remained in the hospital until August 26. We remain thankful that Ricky experienced none of the complications or debilitations the doctors warned could occur.

From September through December, Ricky underwent 5 cycles of chemotherapy. Each treatment required hospitalizion and lasted 4 days. Incredibly, Ricky also began walking and talking during these cycles of treatment and recovery. As the months passed, Ricky's family and even his doctors marveled at his progress and how one so small, could be so strong.

In January, 2003, Ricky underwent what his parents, family and friends hope and pray will be his last course of chemotherapy. This was a very high-dose chemo treatment followed by an autologous stem cell transplant. He was admitted to NYU Medical Center for this procedure on January 8 and was discharged on February 3.

We had been prepared for a 4 to 6 week hospital stay, but once again, Ricky amazed his doctors with his resiliancy and strength. We are eternally grateful to a great number of people whose thoughts and prayers helped Ricky's family through an unspeakable ordeal. We pray the tumor has been eradicated, but only time will tell.

Ricky has recovered extremely well from all these treatments and continues to thrive because he has a lioness guarding him the whole time. Her name is Christina and she is his Mom.
In the hospital and still smiling.
Mmm
Ricky & Dad
Bathing Beauty
Thank you for visiting Ricky's page. Please take a moment and sign into Ricky's guestbook. We take great comfort in knowing we are in your thoughts and prayers.
Dr. Weinblatt and some of his staff feel like family to us now. They are very special group of people working together to help children and their families fight cancer. They did a lot more than practice medicine for us and we are forever grateful.
Ricky's course of chemotherapy followed the Headstart I Protocol authored by Jonathon Finlay of NYU Medical Center. Dr. Finlay  pioneered the use of high-dose chemo for pediatric brain tumors. Using chemo instead of radiation avoids collateral brain damage.
Living in the pediatric oncology ward for almost a month was difficult. We thank the entire 9 East staff for helping us cope through the ordeal. Ricky's nurses in particular went above and beyond the call of duty for him.
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