Mattie Powell on new clinical trial 2009.12.30

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Mattie Powell’s fourth birthday last April was a happy affair. It was about that time that she was declared cancer-free after a long battle with a brain tumor. The clinical trial she was involved with so far was successful.mattie_p.jpg

Half a year later, gloom settled back into Duane and Sara Powell’s household following a visit to St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.

Duane took Mattie to St. Jude for a routine checkup in November and received the bad news. It wasn’t that the brain tumor had returned. There was a cancerous mass above one knee and another in her right femur. Cancer cells were also found around her ribs.

“They had absolutely zero hope to give me,” Duane said. “There was nothing more they could do.”

A few days later he and Sara were called to St. Jude because a new clinical trial was ready to get underway. Mattie was chosen as one of five children who would be the first to give it a try.

“At least with this we have something to hope for,” Duane said.

Mattie has had the first of four oral chemotherapy rounds. After the second one, she’ll return to St. Jude for a checkup.

Life goes on at the Powell house. Mattie performed in her tap dance recital earlier this month, although at first she had some doubts.

“‘I don’t think I can tap,’ she told me,” Duane said. “But she got up there and did it. She had a really nice time with the other girls and they had a lot of fun.”

Mattie was fitted for a walker a few weeks ago and she’s using it more now due to the pain of walking. She’s also taking a slow-release morphine around the clock, along with a barrage of other medications to counteract effects of the pain-killer.

Mattie was on the minds of people around the globe after someone started a call for Christmas cards via Facebook. Their mail carrier has been busy.

“We just broke the 1,900 mark today,” Duane said Monday, after another 57 cards arrived.

Several have arrived from Australia and two new countries—Singapore and Malaysia—were added top the tally this week.

A church in Wauseon is paying for the family to spend two nights at the Great Wolf Lodge resort in Sandusky. A limo ride was arranged to view Christmas lights in Archbold. Another fund raiser is scheduled Jan. 16 in Ridgeville Corners.

“People have been just wonderful again,” Duane said. “It’s hard to express how much we’ve appreciated everything they do.”

The Powells will continue to cling to that thread of hope from the new treatment and try to make another challenging day a good one for their four and a half-year-old daughter.

“We’re trying to let her be a kid for as long as possible,” Duane said.

  • Front.pokemon
    LATEST CRAZE—David Cortes (left) and Ty Kruse, along with Jerred Heselschwerdt (standing), consult their smartphones while engaging in the game of Pokémon Go. The virtual scavenger hunt comes to life when players are in the vicinity of gyms, such as Stair District Library, and PokéStops such as the fire station across the street. The boys had spent time Monday morning searching for Pokémon at Wakefield Park.
  • Front.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Girls.on.ride
    NADIYA YORK and Aniston Valentine take a spin on the Casino, one of the rides offered at Wakefield Park during Morenci’s Town and Country Festival. This year’s festival remained dry but with plenty of heat during the three-day run. Additional photographs are inside this week’s Observer.
  • Front.softball
    Angela Davis (2) and teammate Allison VanBrandt break into a jig after Morenci's softball team won its third consecutive regional title.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.soccer.balls
    BEVY OF BALLS—Stair District Library Summer Reading Program VolunTeens, including Libby Rorick, back left and Ty Kruse, back right, threw a dozen inflatable soccer balls into the crowd during a reading of “Sergio Saves the Game.” The sports-themed program continues on Wednesdays through July 27.
  • Front.art.park
  • Front.drum
  • Shadow.salon

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016