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We Need a Superhero

November 3, 2008
Noah and Diana
Noah with snoopy shirt


Halloween fell on a Friday night, capping a month of Friday night frights. It was a month featuring a falling stock market amidst worldwide economic turmoil when banks wouldn’t lend and the government decided to borrow billions to get them lending again. It was a month that saw GM and Chrysler shrink even closer to bankruptcy, desperately hoping to get a government loan so that GM would buy Chrysler and shrink its workforce even more. It was a month of preparation for an historic election dividing the country.

Halloween in Detroit was unseasonably warm and a pleasant diversion to the real frights in the world. It was a parade of little creatures in masks walking in the light of pre-daylight-savings and ending the night in darkness.

No fear in the world can prepare a parent for the fate of a little boy facing the dreaded disease of cancer. A few hours before Halloween began, Noah’s mother got the phone call she dreaded.

Noah’s cancer had spread. The doctors had found “many new lesions throughout the right arm and leg and one in his skull.”

Diana wrote in her Carepages blog that “the chemo and drug did absolutely nothing—didn’t even slow it down. We have removed him from this trial.” The MIGB radiation therapy that looked promising had a backlog of waiting kids, meaning Noah was to wait for treatment for many weeks.

Until then, the strategy is an aggressive chemo treatment of Topotecan and Cytoxin, followed by Neupogen shots to help the white blood cells. The MIBG radiation therapy scheduled hopefully by the end of the year shoots radioactive isotopes into Noah’s body. For at least five days, he will have to be in complete isolation followed by more intense chemo.

A little boy facing such harsh treatment and such long odds seems inhuman and cruel. There is no superhero who can slay such devastation. But a terrifying phone call could not stop Noah’s mother from dressing him up in his Spiderman outfit and going trick and treating with him on Friday. And nothing could stop a mother from taking Noah to the zoo on a warm November Monday.

We can only hope that the subconscious wish for a boy to be superhuman can help his immunity, making him impervious to the blasts of radioactive isotopes and chemotherapy.

We need a superhero who can save a child. We need another miracle.

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