Friday, November 27, 2015

Onco Girl Turns Belle of the Ball

Mom here. I thought I had a few years to go before worrying about Rachel's first prom, but this year has been full of surprises -- and the fact that Rachel is going to the prom tonight at CHOP is no exception!

Onco Girl Turns Belle of the Ball

Gallery: Onco Girl goes to the prom

Mom here. I thought I had a few years to go before worrying about Rachel's first prom, but this year has been full of surprises -- and the fact that Rachel is going to the prom tonight at CHOP is no exception!

The hospital has a great program. As I understand it, the event started mainly for kids of traditional prom age who would otherwise miss the proms at their schools due to a hospitalization. Now, the event is opened to all the patients. The hospital has been abuzz today with everyone from the patients to the staff and a host of volunteers getting ready for the big night.

Rachel is very excited about it. She spent the afternoon "shopping" for a prom dress from a room full of donated apparel. After trying a half-dozen dresses, she finally settled on the perfect yellow gown. Then she had her make-up and nails done by a professional volunteer. And then off to select the perfect jewelry to complement her outfit. Rachel looks gorgeous! You should have seen her face light up as she looked into the mirror and saw her reflection. Ready to go for her first prom!

We're about to head downstairs to make an entrance on the "red carpet" and gather in the cafeteria, which has been beautifully decorated and transformed into a sparkilng dance hall for the kids to enjoy.


Click HERE to read Marie McCullough's report on the prom.

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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.

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