Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Fernandes Family Story

The Fernandes Family
The Fernandes' journey in San Francisco and with Family House began in 2010 when their son Frankie was found to have a tumor at the base of his neck. Frank Fernandes and his wife Diane would like to share Frankie's story, from his point of view:

My name is Frankie and when I was 5 years old I was having a lot of neck pain, so my mommy and daddy took me to the doctor. It all started about June 18th when I started having this really bad neck pain. The pain would come and go. We went on our family vacation to Disneyworld the last week of June and I didn't feel real good, I was tired and my neck kept bothering me. On 4th of July I had a really bad episode and my parents took me to the ER at Kaweah Delta, but they couldn't figure out what was wrong so they gave me some motrin and tylenol, and sent me home. Two days later I went to see my doctor. Dr. McNich did some x-Rays of my neck and a swab of my throat everything looked normal and she was stumped, so she sent us to Childrens Hospital in Madera. On July 12, 2010 we found out, from the doctors at Valley Childrens in Madera, that I had a tumor at the base of my brain. They decided to send us to UCSF San Francisco since they are the best for these types of tumors. This is where we learned I had a tumor called a Clival Chordoma and I would need to have surgery to remove it. After a couple months at UCSF I then underwent 8 weeks of Proton radiation treatment so that my tumor would not come back."

Frankie at UCSF hospital
Unfortunately, as is the case with many of our families, this was only the beginning of the treatment process Frankie would need to undergo. Over the course of the last two years, the family has kept a personal website including journals that they wrote to detail day to day struggles and triumphs over the course of Frankie's treatment, as well as Family House and its importance to them (see journal from 3-21-2012). Frank and Diane would love to pass their website info on to all, so everyone can read their journals. Please visit to learn more about the Fernandes family's story!

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