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Guzik Motors

Invention is patients' best 'Buddy'

IV patent helps ease burden of cancer patients

April 04, 2011
Ralph Lawrence's granddaughter's medical necessity is bringing help to countless kids with serious illnesses.

In November of 2005, his seven-month-old granddaughter, Autumn, was diagnosed with infant leukemia. Once at Hasbro Hospital in Providence, R.I., she quickly went into remission. She spent 104 weeks on weekly outpatient treatment.

In the 97th week of treatment, she relapsed and a bone marrow transplant was necessary. Sadly, neither parent was a match, which is common, but her six-month-old brother, Leaf, was a perfect match. On Jan. 4, 2008, she received her transplant.

"Once she eventually returned home, she was hooked up to an IV 24 hours a day," Lawrence said. "Not quite three years old and she could not navigate an IV pole. She would fall all over the tubes, get them tangled up, and even an adult has trouble with an IV pole. The people at the hospital said they would put it in a backpack for her, which weighed about 20 pounds and no three-year-old can carry a backpack like that. Out of frustration one day, I took the little doll carriage she had and an IV poll and took them home to my garage. I cut the IV poll in half and attached it to the carriage. I made it into a little buggy that she could push around like a shopping cart."

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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