Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Getting Out in the World

I have been pretty busy since my last blog post. I am back at Mother Teresa Regional for school; I had to go back to CHOP for a blood and platelet transfusion and I started practicing with my swim team, the Monmouth Barracudas.

Getting Out in the World

Travel Deals

I have been pretty busy since my last blog post. I am back at Mother Teresa Regional for school; I had to go back to CHOP for a blood and platelet transfusion and I started practicing with my swim team, the Monmouth Barracudas.  I feel great but I still get tired easily.

On Monday, I was interviewed by Dawn Timmeney from NBC10 in Philadelphia.  Dawn also interviewed my surgeon, Dr. John Dormans, and filmed my exam with him.  She did a story on me, my surgery and my recovery that aired this week. It was really fun and Dawn is a really nice person (that's her with me in the picture below).  Dr. Dormans said I was recovering nicely and to come back and see him in three months. 


On Monday I also had my first scans after my chemotherapy to make sure that it worked and my cancer was gone.  I had chest CT scans because if my cancer spread, that’s the first place it would go.  After my CT scans, the technician told my parents and me to go to Oncology to see Dr. Naomi Balamuth to get the results.  ALL CLEAR! Thank God.  Dr. Balamuth told me that we can schedule having my port removed. … Not going to need that anymore!

This Sunday, I will be walking (yes, walking) in the Four Seasons Parkway Run that benefits pediatric cancer research at CHOP.  My friends from school are coming to walk with me so that we can help raise funding for CHOP’s cancer research.  The doctors at CHOP did a study led by Dr. Womer in Oncology that resulted in the standard protocol (the chemotherapy treatment) used to treat Ewing’s Sarcoma around the world.  It really was the research and awesome doctors at CHOP that saved my life and my leg.  If you can help support Team Onco Girl raise funds for CHOP in the Four Seasons Parkway Run this weekend, please click here.  

My team is getting close to our goal.  This is a great cause and the results of the research at CHOP really saves lives.  I’m living proof and I can walk, on my own two legs.

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About this blog
Rachel Kovach, 12, is a seventh-grader at Mother Theresa Regional School in Atlantic Highlands, N.J. She lives in Highlands, N.J., near the Sandy Hook national seashore, with her parents, Mari and Kurt Kovach.

Since first grade, Rachel has been swimming with the Monmouth Barracudas, a year-round competitive United States Swimming Club program. She hopes to continue competitive swimming after her cancer treatment; if not, she envisions coaching someday or maybe a career in medicine. Figure skating and jazz dancing have been big parts of her life. One of the things she hates about being in the hospital is missing her dog Cocoa and her many friends.

Rachel's doctors

These are the key physicians overseeing Rachel’s care at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia:

Naomi BalamuthNaomi Balamuth, pediatric oncologist, specializes in treating pediatric sarcomas, a subset of solid tumors.



Richard B. WomerRichard B. Womer, pediatric oncologist, led studies of the latest chemotherapy treatment protocol for Ewing’s sarcoma.



John P. DormansJohn P. Dormans, M.D., chief of orthopaedic surgery, is an international expert in the surgical treatment of musculoskeletal tumors.


Timeline of Rachel Kovach’s Treatment

Dec. 3, 2010: Pain in Rachel's right knee is initially diagnosed as tendinitis.

Jan. 20: An MRI reveals a tumor in right leg.

Jan 24: Rachel sees John Dormans, chief of orthopedic surgery at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Jan. 27: A biopsy confirms Ewing's sarcoma.

February to mid-April: Regimens of chemotherapy alternate every other week. The three-drug regimen is given over two days; the two-drug regimen is given over five days.

May 3: Surgery replaces most of the right femur with a prosthesis.

May 5: A Children's Hospital team will help Rachel get out of bed.

May 10 to September: Alternating regimens of chemotherapy are to resume.

Around May 10: Physical therapy will begin in the hospital and continue for at least several months after Rachel goes home.

Onco Girl
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