The benefits of having pediatric oncology services available nearby at Golisano Children’s Hospital are deeply appreciated and especially important to The Bell Family. Just one of many children treated at Golisano Children’s Hospital, Jack Bell was diagnosed with stage four liver cancer at the tender age of two.
“I was eight months pregnant with my third child when we first met Dr. Salman and Jack began treatment, so being able to stay close to home was very important for all of us,” said Rachel Bell, Jack’s mom.
Unfortunately, because the tumor did not respond to treatment alone, Jack needed a liver transplant in Cincinnati. Thankfully, because of Golisano Children’s Hospital, the Bell Family was able to return home less than a month after the transplant, and Jack received seven months of chemotherapy at Golisano.
“If we didn’t have this amazing children’s hospital in Fort Myers, we would have been forced to move permanently,” said Rachel Bell. “To this day, Jack goes to the hospital every two months for testing, so it continues to be very important to his survival.”
Although doctors follow Jack’s condition closely because of his medical history, he is now a healthy 12-year-old boy who is thriving in school and playing sports. According to Jack’s physician, Dr. Emad Salman of Golisano Children’s Hospital, success stories like Jack’s are possible because of the community support that comes through SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc.
“SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. and the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest has been a huge part of the children’s hospital,” said Dr. Salman. “The abilities we have today would not be possible without their amazing contributions over the past several years. They are a big part of the foundation of this building and the children of Southwest Florida will be eternally indebted to them.”