Lab West boy fea­tured in doc­u­men­tary

The Aurora (Labrador City) - - FRONT PAGE - BY MIKE POWER

Labrador West has a ma­jor role in the pro­duc­tion of a doc­u­men­tary on a rare form of can­cer.

When Gail Hodge’s son was di­ag­nosed with Ewing’s sar­coma in 2009, the Labrador City woman had never heard of the dis­ease.

“My search for in­for­ma­tion turned up al­most noth­ing,” she told the Aurora. “It was a long, lonely road; my son’s diagnosis was scary, and the treat­ment scarier.”

Then lit­tle was known about the dis­ease that af­fects mostly younger chil­dren and young adults, but can af­fect adults as well.

In her quest for in­for­ma­tion, Hodge dis­cov­ered the Ewing’s Can­cer Foun­da­tion of Canada. The foun­da­tion was founded by Tina and Bernie Per­nica and their son Reid, who was di­ag­nosed with the sar­coma. The fam­ily de­cided in 2008 that peo­ple had to be in­formed and ed­u­cated about the dis­ease.

“It’s a dis­ease that is of­ten mis­di­ag­nosed,” Hodge ex­plained, “and one that is of­ten hard to find.” Many physi­cians may only see one or two cases in their en­tire ca­reer.

Hodge was even­tu­ally in­vited to sit on the board of directors of the foun­da­tion as di­rec­tor of Eastern De­vel­op­ment. Her son com­pleted his treat­ments and is a sur­vivor.

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