Little Yonatan Barlev is only 2 years old and is fighting the cancer in his liver for the past six months. After completing treatment in Israel, Yonatan now needs a liver transplant so his family brought him to Chicago to be treated by one of the best doctors in the world.
Yonathan came here with his parents and 3 siblings (ages 3 months to 6 years) and will stay here as long as it takes until the surgery can be done. While the family is staying in Chicago and waiting for a matching donor, MyChild’sCancer would like to invite the community to open its heart and help this family feel a bit more at home while so far away from home.
Update: Even earlier than hoped, a matching donor was found for little Yonathan and a successful liver transplant took place on the third week of August. Following the surgery, Yonathan had a good and speedy recovery from the transplant and (amazingly!) back on his legs in only a few days. (Note: Kids are awesome in their ability to bounce back from procedures – we know that, however every time it’s a new and wonderful surprise).
Upon doctors’ approval, the family was able last week to return to Israel and be with their loved ones just in time to celebrate Rosh Hashana and the Jewish holiday season. Yonathan will need to continue with his post-transplant treatment in Israel. We pray that he remains cancer-free however, as always, a few more months will be needed to estimate the complete effectiveness of treatment received here in the U.S.
We are glad to say that despite the hurdles of the treatment and the logistic, mental and emotional challenges of waiting ‘in the dark’ for a matching liver donor, the family was able to enjoy most of their free time here, largely thanks to the amazing support from the local community in Chicago. Yonathan and his parents and siblings were moved by it and said that it made a big difference in their lives at such challenging times. They are forever grateful for all the love and support they have received.
On behalf of the Bar-Lev family, MyChild’sCancer would like to send a big THANK YOU to all our supporters, and especially our local team and community in Chicago, IL.
May you always be on the giving side.
Posted on: July 31, 2015
Last Updated on: Sep 14, 2015
Here are two doctors among the best in the world for liver surgery and transplants – both in NYC:
Dr. Jean Emond from Columbia University Medical Center in NY.
Prof. Myron Schwartz from Mount Sinai Hospital in NY.
In HepatoBlastoma, when not metastasize, a good surgeon is a key factor for a full recovery.
The liver is the only internal organ in the body that can rebuild itself completely. Therefore in case the tumor in the liver has ample ‘clean borders’ (i.e. cancer-free tissues) around it, in most cases it will be possible to remove the tumor with clean borders and the liver will rebuild and repair itself. That is why young HepatoBlastoma patients without metastatic tumors have a higher chances of recovery depending on the success of the surgery.
According to Dr. Jean Emond from Columbia University Medical Center in NY, it takes only 15% of healthy liver tissue to allow a successful recovery of the liver from surgery. Therefore before going for a liver transplant, we recomend you check the surgical option.
All this leads to one conclusion: when dealing with liver cancer, consult with a GOOD SURGEON. He may hold your key to recovery.
Cancer Localisation: Liver
Diagnostic method: Blood test, MRI scan, PET/CT scan
Treatment: Chemotherapy, Surgery
HepatoBlastoma in a nutshell
Hepatoblastoma is a solid tumor cancer of the liver. This primary liver tumor which accounts for half of all liver tumors in children is rare with approximately 50 to 70 new cases diagnosed in the United States each year. It occurs slightly more often in boys than girls.
Parents who have been there would also tell you these things you should know;
The good news are that the liver is the only internal organ in the body that can rebuild itself completely. Therefore, in case the tumor in the liver has ampel ‘clean borders’ (i.e. cancer-free tissues) around it, in most cases it will be possible to remove the tumor with clean borders and the liver will rebuild and repair itself. That is why young HepatoBlastoma patients without metastatic tumors have a higher chances of recovery depending on the success of the surgery. Your key to a successful recovery is a GOOD SURGENT.
The American Childhood Cancer Organization (ACCO) – HepatoBlastoma
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) – Childhood Liver Cancer Treatment