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Barbara Salerno

Barbara Salerno sends us this update related to her recent travels to Europe and an update on the treatment of her daughter Michelle:

My daughter Michelle and I spent a wonderful, amazing vacation in Madrid and Paris in September 2010. Michelle has been fighting Hodgkin’s Lymphoma cancer for 8 years and is currently living with cancer as she continues receiving a clinical trial SGN35 that has some great results for her disease. We stayed in a bed & breakfast right in the center of Madrid, within walking distance to all the “must sees.” In Paris, we lived with the parents of a student who had stayed with us 20 years ago in an Exchange Program. This was our 4th visit with the family who we had not seen in 11 years due to Michelle’s illness. We lived the life of a Parisian as our hostess served us gourmet foods that no French restaurant could possibly compete with, PLUS our host shared some of the finest wines in his temperature-controlled cellar of more than 2,000 bottles. The best part of our trip - the young woman who stayed with us so many years ago now has 9 and 7 year old daughters who will be communicating with my granddaughters to continue the friendship we have been so lucky to experience.

Barbara sends us two news items and provides us with the following update:

Michelle was tested on December 14, 2010 after being on the clinical trial since May. She is that/close to being in remission. Her treatments will continue until March 2011, when we hope to hear "NED" - No Evidence of Disease.

Published December 8, 2010 by Clarendon Hills Suburban Life

Lombard, Illinois resident Michelle Salerno took one of life’s biggest hardships and turned it into one of her biggest accomplishments. Salerno was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in October 2002 at the age of 33. She had minimal to no symptoms out of the ordinary.

As a Hodgkin’s Lymphoma patient and survivor, Salerno had to wear a Hickman catheter for over two years. During this time, she came up with an idea to protect it: the Joey Pouch.

“It’s taking some time for the medical profession to recognize its value for patients,” said Salerno. “It was originally designed for cancer patients who wear a Hickman catheter… now it can hold a Hickman catheter, Neostar, Jackson Pratt drain and a post-operative drain due to breast cancer surgery.”

The Joey Pouch is a small, soft pouch designed to hold the clamps of the Hickman catheter for an adult or a child, making daily activities in life or sleep more comfortable. The pouch is easily adjustable around the neck, and can be worn next to the chest and under clothing. The pouch costs $15 and is made of a soft, white, hypoallergenic fabric and includes an adjustable neck strap.

Salerno continues to stay strong, positive, and keeps fighting until she can hear “NED,” No Evidence of the Disease. The Joey Pouch has been purchased by hospitals such as Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood.

Notable When Salerno isn’t promoting Joey Pouch, she belongs to various organizations working as a mentor and telling others about her eight-year experience fighting cancer and about stem cell transplants.

SOURCE: Clarendon Hills Suburban Life

Published December 8, 2010 by Loyola University Health System

It’s the season of giving. It’s the time of year when we pause to think of those we love and reach out to help someone we might not even know. For Michelle Salerno, a Lombard, Ill. resident, the perfect gift came early this year. On March 9, her brother Joey gave her 5 million of his own stem cells, a gift that has given Michelle Salerno hope, a chance to fulfill a lifelong dream and an opportunity to help others with their cancer struggles. “Growing up, Joey and I really weren’t that close,” Michelle Salerno said. “He was the oldest, so he left for college when I was still young, and he was in the military so distance made it difficult. When he found out I had cancer, everything changed. He’s my best friend, whether he knows it or not.” In 2002, Michelle Salerno’s life came to a screeching halt when she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The prognosis wasn’t good, but Michelle Salerno was ready to fight and so were the staff of the Loyola Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, led by her oncologist, Dr. Tulio Rodriguez. “Dr. Rodriguez would always tell me that I’m not dying any sooner than the rest of the people living. He never gave up on me. There was always a Plan B, something else to try,” Michelle Salerno said.

For Salerno