Another Day, Another Miracle
Medical miracles are becoming daily realities. People who might have died from one disease or another 50 years ago -- or last year -- are living to see another day, another decade, another half century and more, thanks to advances in research, diagnostics and therapeutics.
The New York Times published just such a story yesterday, about a Pennsylvania girl who, at the tender age of 6, was near death last spring as a result of leukemia. The youngster was a veteran at chemotherapy, as well as the heartbreak of relapse.
Then the miracle kicked in. The NY Times reported, "Desperate to save her, her parents sought an experimental treatment at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, one that had never before been tried in a child, or in anyone with the type of leukemia Emma had. The experiment, in April, used a disabled form of the virus that causes AIDS to reprogram Emma's immune system genetically to kill cancer cells.
"The treatment very nearly killed her. But she emerged from it cancer-free, and about seven months later is still in complete remission. She is the first child and one of the first humans ever in whom new techniques have achieved a long-sought goal - giving a patient's own immune system the lasting ability to fight cancer."
According to the article, the experimental treatment was developed at the University of Pennsylvania and was to be highlighted yesterday at a meeting of the American Society of Hematology in Atlanta.
The real truth is that medical miracles are not merely sprinkled upon us by some heavenly benevolence. They are also the result of years of dedication, hard work and never-say-die vision on the part of researchers, diagnosticians and medical providers. Count yourself among the miracle workers.