Marco's Success Story

Published on: 04/10/2009

In the Best Hands

After meeting 5-year-old Marco, one would never guess that he once had a tumor the size of an orange in his brain. The bustling kindergartener had surgery at Nicklaus Children's Hospital to remove the tumor at only 17 months of age. “I’ve read about children with brain tumors who have been left with deficits as a result of surgery. We feel fortunate that we were in the hands of the best,” said Jacqueline, Marco’s mother. Today, Marco is busy making puzzles, playing games, participating in sports and generally exceeding expectations in school.


A Mother’s Instinct

Life was not so bright for Marco's family four years ago. At eight months of age, Marco began throwing up at every meal. Physicians at several Northeastern pediatric teaching hospitals near the family’s Pennsylvania home told the family that the cause was a digestive disorder and, later, a food allergy. Doctors again assured Jacqueline that there was nothing seriously wrong with her child on Halloween 2004. That was scary news for a mother who knew that her toddler was seriously ill.

Fate brought them to Nicklaus Children's Hospital

That December, Marco and his family moved to St. Lucie West and came to Nicklaus Children's Hospital, formerly Miami Children's Hospital, where physicians quickly ordered imaging studies that revealed the large tumor. Under the care of John Ragheb, M.D., Director of Neurosurgery and the Nicklaus Children's Hospital Brain Institute’s world-renowned neurosurgical team, the tumor was removed and follow-up treatment by the Nicklaus Children's Hospital Cancer Center ensured Marco’s continued well being.

“We feel so fortunate that we were in the hands of this amazing team. Thanks to Nicklaus Children's Hospital, formerly Miami Children's Hospital, Marco has an amazing future,” said Jacqueline. 

-Jacqueline, mother of 5-year-old Marco

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