These transplants have been done since 1993 for adults, but now our very first local baby has been taken care of right here at St. Luke's in Boise.

 

3-month-old Tate Fontaine was diagnosed with neuroblastoma which is a form of cancer that mostly forms with toddlers and it attacks the nerve cells.  Stem cell transplants are one way of treating this type of cancer and now babies here in the Treasure Valley don't have to go to Utah for treatment.

 

Up until now, families have had to completely uproot themselves to make sure their children are getting the best of care.  Most moves last about three to six months.  Essentially what happens with this procedure is doctors take a toddler's bone marrow out of the body and freeze it.  This allows the child to take on some very intense chemotherapy cycles.  The intense chemo would damage the child's bone marrow if left in the body.

 

Once the intense chemo cycles are finished, the stem cells are put back into the body.  Those stem cells will eventually regenerate all the cells of the bone marrow and all the cells of the blood.

 

Tate's stem cell transplant has been a success and Tate is now going through remission.  He continues to go through treatment and will continue for a couple more months.