But a miracle was not to be for our family – Cian succumbed to Neuroblastoma only seven weeks later, on October 13th – essentially the three rounds of chemotherapy he had completed failed to control his brain tumor growth, though the other tumor sites had been responding well. Something we have since learned about Neuroblastoma is that the mysterious black eye Cian had – actually known as ‘raccoon eye,’ can be a hallmark sign of the disease. Yet not one of the six clinicians that saw Cian that fateful August week seemed to know that. While we understand that getting the diagnosis earlier would not have saved Cian’s life, it may have given us more time with him, and it would have spared us the very painful accusation that was levied against us.
We created Cian’s Cause to educate parents and pediatricians alike about Neuroblastoma, a disease that while not very common, is frequently fatal. The sooner a child is diagnosed, the sooner that child can be treated, which can be the difference between life and death.