"Tate’s journey with liver cancer began when he was 2 months old. He was constantly vomiting, not gaining weight, and just not eating well. Our pediatrician kept assuring us it was reflux and everything was fine. Though my mother’s instincts were telling me something different. I am fortunate to be a medical professional and work in a medical imaging facility; so Tate immediately had an ultrasound of his belly. The ultrasound showed a 7 cm x 5 cm x 3 cm mass in his liver (a little larger than a tennis ball). So on August 19, 2011, our journey began and at noon we arrived at Riley Hospital where many friends greeted us with open arms and ready to help us cope and fight Tate’s diagnosis of stage 3 hepatoblastoma. Dr Kumar and Ann Haddix, CPNP were assigned to Tate's case. Tate had surgery performed by Dr. Ladd to place his central line and to do a biopsy of the tumor on August 23, 2011. He did not tolerate surgery well and had his first stay in ICU. Once he was released from ICU he moved to the cancer floor to begin his first round of chemotherapy. Tate went through weekly chemotherapy treatments along with inpatient chemotherapy treatments from August 27 until November 22 when it was time to remove his tumor. Dr Ladd performed a six-hour surgery on Tate to remove the tumor that was confined to the left lobe of his liver and removed his gallbladder. After surgery, Tate had his second stay in ICU.
Once again not tolerating surgery well but pulled through and was able to go home 7 days after having surgery. Once he was cleared by Dr Ladd Tate was able to start his final rounds of chemotherapy. He continued weekly treatments and inpatient chemotherapy for six weeks post-surgery. These last treatments were the worst for him. He spent most of December and January in the hospital near death because he became septic. Finally January 29, 2012 Tate spent his first full week at home. And on February 3, 2012 Tate rang the bell in the clinic finalizing his end of treatment. Now Tate only visits Riley every year for blood work and visits with his nurse practitioner. He is very active and he loves playing baseball, basketball, and fishing! Tate just recently celebrated 11 years cancer free and was announced as 1 of 10 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals National Champions.”
- The Hartzler Family