Matt DiVeronica was only 14-months-old when he was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma. This type of cancer affects the nervous system, specifically the nerve tissues of the adrenal glands, chest, neck, and/or spinal cord.
Matt had a 50/50 chance of survival.
The DiVeronicas lived in Florida at the time and were referred to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. Matt DiVeronica told KOIN that St. Jude provides, “not just the hope, but also making it financially possible for those families.”
St. Jude offers more than medical care for children suffering from life-threatening diseases. It also covers the costs of flights to treatments and lodging. In Matt’s case, it saved his life.
And, St. Jude inspired him to want to become a doctor, which he did. After graduating from college and medical school, Matt now practices as an internist the VA hospital in Portland, Oregon.
Neuroblastoma is the most common “extracranial solid cancer” in infancy and in children under age 10. It spreads most often to the lymph nodes, bones, bone marrow, liver, and in infants, skin. Depending on a combination of factors treatment ranges from chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, and transplants.