Brave Chace has ‘heaps of fight’

New Zealand Herald

By Natalie Akoorie
5:30 AM Monday Aug 22, 2011




Chace Topperwien with his parents Keri and Ryan.
Photo / Greg Bowker

Ryan and Keri Topperwien are playing a waiting game.

The Hamilton couple have watched their 2-year-old son Chace endure months of chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant in a battle against a rare and aggressive form of leukaemia.

The toddler was mistakenly injected with Gardasil vaccine, given to teenage girls to prevent cervical cancer, when he was just 6 weeks old.

Now his parents have to be patient, hoping that Chace’s little body accepts transplanted cord blood, that his bone marrow continues to grow again and that he does not relapse.

“He’s got heaps of fight left in him,” Mr Topperwien said. “He’s nowhere near giving up.”

Days before his second birthday in March this year Chace was diagnosed with the M7 strand of acute myeloid leukaemia, but doctors do not believe the cancer is linked to the immunisation mix-up.

Since the diagnosis Chace has suffered through several rounds of intensive chemotherapy at Auckland’s Starship hospital.

A final conditioning round of chemotherapy readied Chace’s body for the cord blood transplant last month but the Topperwiens, both 27, were unprepared for how severe the side-effects would be.

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.