Second shot at life

A second shot at life

Going a step beyond means Gideon and his family found hope when they needed it most.

When Gideon was just five years old, his health took a turn for the worse. He began experiencing fevers, unexplained swelling in his chest, and sensitivity to the sun. After multiple, inconclusive tests and doctor visits, he was due to have an MRI at Rady Children Hospital when his mom, Sosy, got a call asking her to bring Gideon to the hospital immediately. It was there that they got the heartbreaking news: their little boy had leukemia. 

Gideon, or ‘Iron Gideon’ as he was affectionately known due to the port in his heart that made him look like Iron Man, underwent aggressive treatment – including an experimental protocol that sent him into anaphylactic shock. But like his namesake, Iron Gideon was a fighter and made it through his treatment with flying colors. The little boy who had stolen so many hearts during his stay at the hospital was finally able to ring the bell and go home.  

But six months later, the unthinkable happened; Gideon’s cancer came back.

Having exhausted most of his options during his first fight with cancer, Gideon had a limited roadmap for treatment. In Sosy’s words, “Things were looking really dark for us. We were told he had two chances to reach remission… and if he didn’t reach remission then there was nothing left.” After so many years of staying positive and putting up a fight, Gideon and his family were beginning to lose all hope. Then, they met Dr. Deborah Schiff.

Dr. Schiff, MD Pediatric Hematology & Oncology at Rady Children’s Hospital, had learned of CAR T cell therapy, a novel treatment for pediatric cancer patients, developed by our customer with support from Thermo Fisher Scientific. This innovative therapy uses small magnetic beads called Dynabeads™ to select T Cells from a patient’s blood and enable them to be replicated and programmed to be put back into the patient’s body, where they attack the cancer cells. Due to his history and the type of cancer he had, Gideon was a perfect candidate.


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"The day Dr. Schiff came in and offered us the CAR T cell therapy, it was literally the day of hope."

Gideon's mother

The therapy was a resounding success. Today, Gideon is 11 years old and in full remission. He is able to go to school, play basketball, swim, and make memories with his family – things they thought they would never get a chance to do again. From a five-year-old who, in his own words, “only had one path” to a healthy, happy young boy with his whole life ahead of him, Gideon has another shot at life thanks to our customers and incredible doctors like Dr. Schiff who go a step beyond every single day to make a difference in the world.

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