he was born at 34 weeks gestation with Apert Syndrome,
doctors told his parents he would never walk or talk
and he would not live long. Nine years later, Joseph
is a bubbly, vibrant boy who attends public school
in a regular classroom, enjoys playing basketball,
singing and listening to music, and anything dealing
with World War II.
the only reminders Jacob Palmore has of cancer are
some scars and digital hearing aids he wears due to
a side effect from chemotherapy.
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24, 2002 (Lexington, Ky.) --
Joseph Stephens, 9, son of Joni and Pat Stephens,
and Jacob Palmore, 10, son of Julia and Greg Palmore,
both of Richmond, will be featured as "champions"
during the "2002 Children's Miracle Network Celebration"
May 31-June 1. The annual television fund-raiser benefits
of Kentucky Children's Hospital. "Champion" is
an appropriate term for both Joseph and Jacob, who
survived life-threatening odds.
For Joseph Stephens, to be 9 years old is a miracle
was born at 34 weeks gestation with Apert Syndrome,
doctors told his parents he would never walk or talk
and he would not live long.
later, Joseph is a bubbly, vibrant boy who attends
public school in a regular classroom, enjoys playing
basketball, singing and listening to music, and anything
dealing with World War II.
road for Joseph has not been easy.
was born, physicians gave Joni and Pat Stephens options
- "going at it with all forces" or having the basic
minimal care provided. It was not even a choice for
the Stephens - they went for it. Once Joseph was transported
to the UK Children's Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care
Unit - all forces were put into gear to save the boy's
didn't think this baby was going to make it," said
Nirmela S. Desai, M.D., neonatologist at the UK Children's
Hospital and professor of pediatrics, UK College of
has had quite a battle in his nine years. He's had
more than 40 surgical procedures to make fingers and
toes, to fix two hernias, to make more room in his
skull for his brain to grow, and to help with his
breathing and kidney problems.
of Joseph that needs no operation is his spirit.
blessed with his being here. He's completely filled
our lives and our family's lives," said his mother,
Joni. "It's amazing how he affects people."
Ten-year-old Jacob Palmore was diagnosed with cancer
on June 28, 1999.
an inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor in his abdomen.
In most cases, surgery is performed, the tumor is
removed, and the patient is fine. However, in Jacob's
case, he had four operations - one for diagnosis and
the others to remove the tumor. But the surgeries
did not cure Jacob - the tumor had spread through
his abdominal cavity.
known successful treatment for this cancer is removing
the tumor. Chemotherapy usually is not an option.
Jacob made it an option. Jeffrey Moscow, M.D., pediatric
oncologist at the University of Kentucky Children's
Hospital treated Jacob. Moscow reviewed journals and
collaborated with other oncologists nationally and
developed several regimens of chemotherapy for Jacob.
the children we were aware of who had aggressive,
unresectable IMTs like Jacob were given chemotherapy
to try to treat the disease, but the chemotherapy
was ineffective, and those children died. We used
a different chemotherapy regimen, and Jacob is alive
and without any evidence of disease now, a year after
the completion of therapy," Moscow said.
the only reminders Jacob has of cancer are some scars
and digital hearing aids he wears due to a side effect
didn't know he had been sick, you couldn't tell,"
said his mother, Julia. "He looks like every other
boy in his class. He runs around. He plays Nintendo.
His growth has caught up with the rest of the kids
his age - they tell us sometimes they stop growing
with the chemotherapy."
say anything negative about his hospital experience.
He has fond memories of the nurses, Child Life staff
and volunteers who kept him entertained during his
are all very nice - very compassionate - they knew
how to deal with kids. They never treated him like
a dying child," Julia said. "I have told other people
it's where I will take my children if anything else
happened," said Julia, who also has a 12-year-old
three years after his diagnosis, Jacob is in complete
remission and has been for more than a year.
Jacob and other children will be recognized as "champions"
during the Children's Miracle Network Celebration,
which will be broadcast May 31-June 1 from Fayette
Mall in Lexington on WKYT-TV, channel 27 (Lexington)
and WYMT-TV, channel 57 (Hazard). Co-hosts are Barbara
Bailey and Bill Bryant, WKYT-TV, and Tony Turner,
WYMT-TV. During the broadcast, the program will feature
and celebrate the triumphs of UK's young patients
and the health issues they are facing. The annual
program not only will recognize the children as champions,
but also the many people who champion children, such
as families, health professionals, individuals, volunteers
Celebration begins at 8 p.m. Friday, May 31, and will
continue through 11 p.m. On Saturday, June 1, the
Celebration continues at 10 a.m. and ends at 6 p.m.
During the broadcast, there will be a silent auction
at Fayette Mall, which also benefits the UK Children's
of Kentucky Children's Hospital is the local beneficiary
for the 15th year of the annual Children's Miracle
Network campaign to raise money for 170 children's
hospitals across North America.
raised in Kentucky stay in Kentucky to benefit the
UK Children's Hospital, the only participating hospital
in the state.
past 15 years, CMN has raised more than $7.5 million
for the UK Children's Hospital. Last year through
CMN, Kentuckians gave $1,052,000 to UK Children's
Hospital, reaching the Hospital's $1 million fund-raising
information on the Children's Miracle Network Celebration
and auction or how to donate to the UK Children's
Hospital, call (859) 257-1121.