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.
These are the key physicians overseeing Rachel’s care at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia:
Naomi Balamuth, pediatric oncologist, specializes in treating pediatric sarcomas, a subset of solid
Richard B. Womer, pediatric oncologist, led studies of the latest chemotherapy treatment protocol
for Ewing’s sarcoma.
John 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.