CARING FOR patients
national media featuring Lola Muñoz raise attention for deadly brain cancer Lola Muñoz hoped the treatment she received in a clinical trial would help other cancer patients. PHOTOS BY MORIAH RATNER
BY AMBER SMITH
PHOTOGRAPHS OF A 12-YEAR-OLD PATIENT of Melanie Comito, MD, accompanied recent stories in the Washington Post and National Geographic magazine. Lola Muñoz lived for 19 months aer her diagnosis with a deadly brain cancer called DIPG, diﬀuse intrinsic pontine glioma. She died in April. Lola chose to participate in a clinical trial of a new combination of chemotherapy drugs to treat DIPG, even though the treatments would make her sick. “I wasn’t doing it for me. I was doing it for all the other kids who suﬀered,” she told photographer Moriah Ratner, who recently graduated from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Ratner spent almost 18 months taking pictures of Lola and her family, including parents Melissa and Agustin Muñoz.
Nurse Kristen Thomas draws Lola’s blood for tests at Upstate after six weeks of radiation.
DIPG is a tumor of the nervous system that forms in the glial tissue of the brain and spinal continued on page 7
upstate.edu/cancer l summer 2018
Welcome to the summer 2018 edition of Cancer Care magazine, produced by the Upstate Cancer Center.