Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Archive: February, 2012

POSTED: Thursday, February 9, 2012, 3:07 PM

Hello everyone. Since I last posted, a few interesting thing have happened. I got blue and pink hair extensions for a fund-raiser at school. Our principal, Mrs. Wisk, is an over-the-top Giants fan so there is a lot of blue and red around our school these days. Also, it’s been about one year since I was diagnosed with cancer. Last, but not least, I have a nasty cold.

The hair extension fund-raiser was to benefit the Mother Teresa Regional School and to celebrate the Giants winning the Super Bowl (sorry, Eagles fans). Before the Super Bowl, the school had a dress-down day where we were only allowed to wear Giants-related stuff, or the colors red, white, or blue. In my opinion, the Super Bowl was an awesome game between two great teams. I realize that there aren’t a lot of Giants fans in Philadelphia but cut me a little slack on this one … . I live really close to New York.

February 4th was the one-year anniversary since I was diagnosed with cancer. What a difference a year makes. Right after being diagnosed, we (my parents and I) weren’t sure how this was all going to turn out. I don’t think Dr. Dormans was sure that my leg could be saved at that point. My oncologist, Dr. Balamuth, and her team did a great job of shrinking my tumor so Dr. Dormans could work his magic. He saved my leg and the team at CHOP saved my life. Today I’m cancer free, back in school, back with my swim team and back to being a 12-year-old girl. It is hard to believe this nightmare started that long ago. It feels like time flies by so fast when you are surrounded by friends and family.

Rachel Kovach @ 3:07 PM  Permalink |
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
Also on
Stay Connected