Nicholas Derderian

We live in northern Virginia now just outside of Washington DC. I agree that something needs to be done to raise awareness about childhood cancer and funding for childhood cancer research.

Presently, I spend a lot of time worrying about the long term side effects of the very aggressive chemo that Nicholas started when he was just 16 days old. New issues seem to arise quite often, and information that I was given 4 years ago about the particular drugs he received has already been changed. He had an echo and EKG yesterday for which I am anxiously awaiting the results. He also has an appointment today because of possible liver issues that are developing. It’s just not right! Re: Congress ~ Last June, my children and I participated in the Cure Search Reach the Day events in Washington DC. We were fortunate to meet some Idaho participants while we were there, Tammy from MSTI (can’t remember her last name) and Hank Showalter and his mother. We met with our representatives in Congress and told them our story. We plan to continue those efforts. It is so important. Re: Rise of cancer ~ I have asked myself that very question so many times.

Prior to Nicholas’ cancer, I know that I would have believed that the people weren’t eating healthy organic food or that they lived on well water too close to agriculture or they lived under power lines, etc. However, we were so careful about what we eat and what we cook with, where we lived, etc. I didn’t even wear make up when I was pregnant. How is that for paranoid? I made my husband clean the toilets so I didn’t have to be near any chemicals. Yet, my child got cancer. After Nicholas was born, I felt so powerless because all the things that I could control weren’t enough to prevent him from getting cancer. I do believe that there is something in our environment that is out of my immediate control that probably did this. We lived in a newer home. There are all kind of chemicals in carpet and paint and sheet rock, etc. Look at Boise air during a winter inversion. It’s HORRIBLE! I get so upset when neighbors use companies to spray pesticides all over their lawns every month. I can remember going out for a walk and then turning back because I could smell that someone somewhere was spraying their yard. Those are things that are out of my immediate control, but they are things that can change if people would just listen and make smarter choices

Thank you so much for raising awareness of childhood cancer. We moved from Idaho about a year ago, but before we left I had started looking into a Conquer Childhood Cancer specialty license plate. I didn’t get very far though. I had no idea how politically charged specialty plates had become! Tawny Flanders is a friend of mine, and Bri is a friend of my daughter. Through her website, I have seen the work that you are doing (the video, the float, proclamations, etc.). I am so happy that you are doing what I had not yet accomplished. I wish we still lived there to help you!

I wanted to write to you about an unusual connection between Trevor and my son Nicholas who was born with cancer in April 2003. Throughout his treatment, I personally double-checked each dose of medicine that he received. I looked for his name, the drug name, the dosage, etc. no matter what time of day it was. One night, a nurse came in and started to give Nicholas chemo ALMOST before I could go through my compulsive checking routine. I stopped her and asked to see the bag. The name “Trevor” was on the bag. I stopped her just in time thankfully. Dr. Johnston told me later that that chemo was meant for an older boy and that the dose would have killed Nicholas. It wasn’t until yesterday while I was thinking about Bri and the float that I put your Trevor and this Trevor together as the same person. Of course, it may not be the same person, but I think that it is. I am so happy to hear that Trevor is doing well. You are both an inspiration to me. Nicholas is also doing well. This month he has been off treatment for four years! I wish you continued health and happiness. Lara Derderian – Dec, 2007