Hello my name is Shara Moskowitz. I am the proud parent of now
13-year-old Avery Moskowitz . Presently she is a survivor and a total miracle. Yet the wreckage of active treatment has left her like a little tornado.

On August 6, 2013 we were given the worst news a parent receives- “your child has cancer” . On August 8, Avery, 3 years old, was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma.  A tumor was wrapped around her aorta and attaching to all her organs. She also had cancer in her skull, shoulders blades, spine, pelvis, her upper arms and thigh bones.

Avery’s Journey started with a brovic inserted into her chest, five rounds of chemotherapy, losing her hair 3 times, apheresis (harvest her own stem cells), and then a 7-hour resection.  Then she went on to two rounds of MIBG therapy where she was behind lead walls and where no one could touch her comfort her.  This was followed by stem cell rescue where she developed VOD Vieno occlusive disorder and wound up in the ICU several times.  Avery had added almost 16 pounds of fluid, so they inserted a drain into her belly (which did not help). Thank goodness for medicine that was brought to this country which saved her life.  She went on to have 24 rounds of radiation and took Accutane for 6 months.

Six rounds of immunotherapy was torturous!  Throughout all of her treatment, there were countless times of blood and platelet transfusions, allergic reactions, vomiting, losing faculties of her bowels, burning of skin, peeling of blisters, loss of balance, appetite and breath.  The list goes on!  Long-term effects thus far include organ damage, APC gene mutation, stage 3 kidney disease, infertility, stunted growth, spinal wedging that causes pain daily, cataracts in both eyes, breakdown of her teeth (chemotherapy eats right through the enamel leaving your teeth gray and black),  permanent high pitch hearing loss, difficulty saying certain sounds, low energy, and PTSD.

The type of Neuroblastoma that Avery has, one out of two children survive.  I’m grateful and I thank my lucky stars every day that she is considered NED (no evidence of disease).  But it continuously lies in the back of my mind that we may be on borrowed time.  I have learned to give up control, and that I have absolutely no power of what the results are- just the footwork I put in.

So I ask you today to give a charitable donation to the Denise Marie Flaherty Foundation to help those fighting cancer and to help those fight the side effects.

Thank you for your time, consideration, and generosity.