Elias Tadli's Bio
Eli is a 3-year old boy who was diagnosed in August of 2016 with a rare and aggressive type of brain cancer called AT/RT (Atypical Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumor). After an MRI showed two masses in his brain, he had brain surgery to remove one of the tumors, but the location of the other tumor has made it inoperable. The remaining tumor is very close to the pituitary gland, which has caused Eli to have many hormone deficiencies. He initially spent 5 weeks in the hospital and now takes between 4 and 6 medications throughout the day to help replace the hormones that he is lacking and to help with other side effects. In addition, he had surgery to place a port in his chest where he has blood taken each week and where he can receive chemotherapy treatments and hydration fluids. He also has a feeding tube to help with daily medication administrations and to provide nutrients he needs to stay strong.
Over the next several months, Eli went through four rounds of a combination of at-home and in-patient chemotherapy treatments. The last two rounds forced him to return to the hospital for a week each time because of infections, uncontrollable vomiting, and blood counts being critically low.
Eli is currently in Boston with his dad where he is receiving proton radiation treatments. His mom had to return to work in order to continue the family’s health insurance coverage and to pay for major expenses, but she flies up each weekend to be with him.
Eli has been very tough and brave so far! He continues to be happy and active, and has a wonderful spirit considering all that he has been through. One of the most difficult parts of this diagnosis is the unknown—because of the aggressive nature of the disease and the very small amount of research available, Eli will need to continue to receive more treatments in the future, but the family doesn’t know what the treatments will entail, where they will need to travel to receive the treatments, or how much work the parents may need to miss in order to care for Eli.