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January 14, 2011 – Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all of you. Thank you so much for all of the wonderful holiday wishes. Michael did have a terrific Christmas and New Year’s. He got home from the hospital after a 12 day treatment late at night on December 22nd, and spent the next few days recovering. He seemed to bounce back more quickly this time. Clearly, his motivation was very high. We had some friends and family over for a special communion on the 23rd, and Christmas morning was spectacular. Michael was full of energy and our entire family was deeply appreciative of the moments we shared that day.

We spent New Year’s in Galveston with the Costolos, and had a very relaxing week. All four kids really enjoyed bringing in the new year together, and it was a nice break from our hospital routine.

Michael’s MIBG scan that was scheduled for December got moved to this week. He had it on Wednesday, and we just received the full report. The good news is that the cancer in his liver and the cancer in his abdomen appear to be gone. Of course, we cannot confirm that until we get the full set of scans (MRI, CT Scan, Bone Density Scan) in March. However, this MIBG scan tends to be the most detailed, and so it is very likely that for now, that cancer is not active. (Pause. Do a little dance.)

There is still active cancer showing up on this scan in his skull. Unfortunately, this cancer does not appear to have shrunk over the last few months. But we still have two rounds of his antibody treatment left. Since this cancer is in his bones, the Bone Density Scan will tell us more in March.

As I have said many, many times over the past year, relapse is common in children with High Risk Stage 4 Neuroblastoma, so we will remain on high alert for the next two or three years. However, this news about his liver and abdomen is a blessing, and worth celebrating. We are thrilled to share the news with all of you.

We check Michael into the hospital this Sunday for about a week for his antibody treatment, and hopefully he will return to school the following week.

Thank you again for all of your love and support. This has certainly been a surreal and difficult journey over the last 13 months, and it is far from over. But we feel uplifted by each of you, and we are so grateful.

With love and hope,

The Malones

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