On July 13, 2012, Robin Ulness was diagnosed with leukemia at just 9 months old. Gayle Garson, Robin’s mother, said the diagnosis was a complete surprise and it all came on very quick.
“Getting the news was devastating,” Gayle said. “It was like getting kicked in the stomach by a horse. It was so surreal; I just kind of went numb.”
Robin was diagnosed with infant acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), which arises from white blood cells called lymphocytes that do not mature properly. While ALL is the most common type of cancer in children, infant ALL is very rare.
The first patient in a cellular immunotherapy Phase 1 cancer trial at Seattle Children’s has had a positive response to T-cell therapy. The 23-year-old patient, Lynsie Conradi, from Bellingham, Wash. received the welcome news yesterday. Conradi signed up for the study after experiencing a second relapse of leukemia earlier this year.
The new treatment involves drawing blood from the patient, reprogramming their infection-fighting T-cells to find and destroy cancer cells, and infusing the blood back into their body.
“Results show that Lynsie has had a positive response to the T-cell therapy and, at this time, we do not detect any leukemia cells,” said Rebecca Gardner, MD, principal investigator for the clinical trial.
The next step for Lynsie is a stem cell transplant, with the aim of clearing the cancer from her body. The goal of the immunotherapy cancer trial was to get her to this stage. Read full post »
It’s been one month since Seattle Children’s new cancer, critical and emergency care expansion opened to patients and the inpatient units are already full. The new Emergency Department (ED) on the ground floor of the building has also seen higher-than-normal patient volumes. Patients and staff are giving Building Hope high marks.
“It’s unbelievable to see it as a real building. It’s amazing that it’s so similar to the cardboard mockup we built three years ago,” says Mandy Hansen, Building Hope project manager. “There’s a great sense of pride about all the hard work that went into building a space that really supports our patients and families.”
New inpatient rooms already full
The new critical care and cancer care units in Building Hope filled up almost immediately after the building opened. Twenty patients moved into the new cancer unit on April 21, but volumes quickly grew. At times since the opening, all 48 beds in the unit have been full (up from 33 beds in the previous unit). Read full post »
The expanded emergency department opened to patients Tuesday, April 23. The new ED has 38 exam rooms and features a new model of care that will reduce wait times and allow patients to be seen by a nurse right away.
The video below offers a behind-the-scenes look at the first patients moving into Building Hope.
More heads are better than one—especially when it comes to designing Seattle Children’s new expansion, Building Hope. Children’s brought together a unique advisory board made up of patients, families and hospital staff to provide feedback throughout the design process.
With Building Hope, Children’s wanted to create an environment that would support the physical, emotional and psychological aspects of healing. Who better to understand the subtleties of the patient experience than actual patients and their families?
On April 21, Seattle Children’s Hospital will be the first hospital in the country to open an inpatient cancer unit dedicated to teens and young adults. The 16-bed unit will occupy the top floor in the hospital’s new Building Hope facility, which will house inpatient cancer treatment, critical care treatment, and a new Emergency Department.
Teen and young adult patients in the new unit will benefit from the support of their peers, as well as an enhanced package of psychosocial support programs that will improve their treatment experience.
The unit will also be the new home of Children’s Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Oncology Program, which was one of the first five cancer programs for teens and young adults in the U.S. Children’s AYA program has been a model for the development of other programs across North America, and will now set the stage for opening a new space for this age group.
“It’s going to be a groundbreaking event in the U.S. to have a unit like this dedicated to teens and young adults,” said Rebecca Johnson, MD, an oncologist at Seattle Children’s. “It presents an opportunity for us to continue with the development of new programs for this age group. Our unit will also provide an example to other institutions of how to deliver quality care for teens and young adults in a dedicated space.”
With short stories featuring a wide range of objects and characters from aliens, exploding stars to “banana slips”, patients’ imaginations came alive as they created their stop motion animation films.
To make the films each patient came up with a story idea, made their characters or objects that would be in their film and then moved them in small increments between individually photographed frames. Once the frames were played together as a continuous sequence, their animation was born.
Jan. 30, 2013: Zach received a care package full of Batman goodies from Christian Bale this week, and his reaction was priceless:
Jan. 25, 2013: A young Seattle Children’s patient – and avid Batman fan – got a special surprise last week, when actor Christian Bale called him in his hospital room. 8-year-old Zach Guillot, of Dallas, Texas, is battling acute myeloid leukemia. He is currently a patient in the hospital’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, where he is recovering from chemotherapy in hopes of later receiving a bone marrow transplant. It will be his third transplant since he was first diagnosed in February 2010.
“Everyone knows Zach is a big Batman fan,” said Jeff, his father. “One of our friends called Christian Bale’s agent, cold-called-him from what I understand, and told him Zach’s story.”
On Jan. 18, Bale called Zach to talk about costumes, little brothers who moonlight as trusty sidekick “Robin,”and Zach’s homemade Batmobile. Zach’s parents, Julie and Jeff caught the conversation on video and shared it on YouTube.
Northwest Film Forum’s 8th annual Children’s Film Festival Seattle will be rolling out the red carpet to children and their families today through Feb. 3. It has become the largest film festival on the West Coast dedicated to this young audience, reaching more than 10,000 people during festival screenings in Seattle and a subsequent festival tour of 15 to 20 U.S. cities.
New this year, current and former patients at Seattle Children’s Hospital will have a few very special starring roles in the festival.
Lights, camera, action!
The festival will showcase more than 120 innovative, inspiring and fun films from 38 countries. Children’s is excited that five short films created by patients or featuring patients’ creative works have been selected to be shown at the festival.
Seattle Children's complies with applicable federal and other civil rights laws and does not discriminate, exclude people or treat them differently based on race, color, religion (creed), sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin (ancestry), age, disability, or any other status protected by applicable federal, state or local law. Financial assistance for medically necessary services is based on family income and hospital resources and is provided to children under age 21 whose primary residence is in Washington, Alaska, Montana or Idaho.