Asaf is only 9 years old and this is the second time that he faces life-threatening cancer. It all started about two years ago, Assaf was hospitalized for a severe asthma attack. He was diagnosed with pneumonia, treated and discharged to recover at home. However, when Assaf started experiencing pain in his ribs, he underwent an MRI. The test results were frightening; they showed that Assaf had cancer – Osteosarcoma in his ribcage.
Assaf begs of you: “PLEASE HELP ME BEAT THIS CANCER!”
Assaf underwent complex surgery to remove the tumor and received extensive chemotherapy designed to wipe out the cancer completely. After 18 months of treatment, Assaf was declared “in remission”, he celebrated his recovery with his family and returned to his routine, his school, and his friends, with hope for a healthy life.
A few months later, during a routine follow-up scan, the doctors found a new tumor in his ribs. “It felt like the sky was falling,” explains Israela, Assaf’s mother.“We had believed that Assaf was healthy, free from this dreadful disease, and suddenly, we would need to endure this whole trauma again, from the beginning. It was simply devastating, but we were not ready to give up. We would continue fighting for Assaf’s life, no matter what. Assaf was also determined; he would do everything necessary to stay alive.”
Assaf had surgery again to remove the new tumor. After sending it for Genomic testing the results indicated that Assaf’s best chance at survival would be to begin a course of treatment with the new breakthrough immunotherapy drug Keytruda. The doctors say his chance at recovery with Keytruda is high, and this has infused us with new hope.
This pioneering treatment exposes the tumor to the patient’s immune system, enabling the immune system to halt cancer advancement and even eradicate it completely. Assaf’s treating physicians emphasize that based on cases similar to Assaf’s, his chances of recovery are high.
But we have a problem; The cost of Assaf’s treatment is $150,000 and is not covered by insurance under Israel’s Ministry of Health. Assaf’s parents cannot afford this therapy and turn to you to help save his life!