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Childhood Kidney Cancer Through Joey’s Eyes

Childhood Kidney Cancer Through Joey’s Eyes

Posted on: 19 Mar 2021


Joey was a happy child. At age 10, he was a laid back, popular Boy Scout and violin player who loved school and playing soccer with his friends. During a regular physical, his pediatrician found something hard near his stomach. When he went for further testing, results came back that Joey had a rare form of kidney cancer, stage 4 translocation renal cell carcinoma. When he was diagnosed, the disease had already spread to his abdomen, chest and neck. Joey’s family was desperate as they were told there was no standard treatment for this cancer because it was so rare.

There are 11 types of childhood kidney tumors. According the National Cancer Institute, the incidence of renal tumors is increasing among children and adolescents in the United States.

Joey’s parents fought hard to get new immunotherapy treatments to treat the cancer, but by the time he received the injections and targeted radiation, his body was too weak to fight. He lost his battle with cancer just 20 months after diagnosis.

Joey’s family kept his legacy alive by donating his tumors to science and starting a Foundation in his name. Researchers and oncologists continue to study Joey’s tumors, seeking answers to why they develop and how to prevent or cure them. They also donated Joey’s corneas to a non-profit eye bank, which successfully matched two adults in different countries. One day Joey’s Mom hopes to visit these places to take in what Joey’s eyes now see.

For free downloadable information on childhood kidney cancer visit our Kidney Cancer in Children condition page.