Tag: Northwestern Mutual

How a trip across the border inspired a doctor to fight for health care equality.

How a trip across the border inspired a doctor to fight for health care equality.

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When Dr. Paula Aristizabal first started working in pediatric oncology, she was a little uneasy. "I was scared because I didn’t know what to expect," Aristizabal explains. Even though cancer specialists have to assume they'll be treating people with a lower than average survival rate, knowing that all her patients would be children made it somewhat more daunting. Fortunately, however, that was far from the experience Aristizabal ended up having. Aristizabal. Photo via Northwestern Mutual. "I learned pediatric cancer is highly curable, so it was very rewarding because I would be able to make a difference in [my patients'] lives," Aristizabal says. Little did she know treating cancer in children wouldn't be the only way she'd make a positive impact on health care. After completi...
Here’s why this boy has a kidney that’s 3 times older than he is.

Here’s why this boy has a kidney that’s 3 times older than he is.

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Meet Tony Salerno. He's 13. Well, most of him is 13. "If someone asks me how old I am, I can tell them, ‘Well, part of me is 50, and the other part of me is 13,'" jokes Tony. Tony just got a new kidney from his dad, so while he's really a 13-year-old boy, his new kidney's almost four times as old. He needed a kidney because the treatments that saved his life also did a lot of damage. At 2.5 years old, he was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a type of nerve-based cancer. Baby Tony in the hospital. Photo courtesy of Karen Salerno. At the time, the rate of survival for someone Tony's age was about 30%, but, thanks to rigorous treatment, he was pronounced cancer-free at age 3. However, the intense treatments, which included five rounds of chemotherapy, two stem cell transplants, and ...
Ballet brought big joy for this courageous 14-year-old battling cancer.

Ballet brought big joy for this courageous 14-year-old battling cancer.

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Peyton had just finished performing in her seventh production of "The Nutcracker" when she started feeling extremely exhausted. "I had dress rehearsals, dance, cheerleading, and seventh-grade homework, so I thought I was just really tired and sore," Peyton says. But her mom, Carrie, knew better. "The change literally happened overnight. She lost 10 pounds in three weeks. She went from dancing in 'The Nutcracker' in December to being ridiculously tired in January," Carrie says. It was watching Peyton's ballet class that really struck Carrie. "Peyton was so exhausted that she couldn't get up on her pointe shoes," she says. "In that moment, I knew something was seriously wrong." A visit to the pediatrician the next day verified Carrie's worries. After examining Peyton, the doctor asked Car...