Nolan “The Champ” on the path to victory

Photo Courtesy Nolan The Champ’s HLH Journey Facebook Page

By Shannon Rapose
Kern Valley Sun

It has been 2 months since Nolan “The Champ” Lanza received a transplant of cord blood stem cells on May 14 in hopes of curing his hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), a life-threatening immunodeficiency with common symptoms of fevers, enlarged spleen, low blood counts, and liver abnormalities. Nolan was diagnosed with HLH when he was just a few months old, and now, just one month shy of his first birthday, Nolan appears to be on the road to recovery.

Nolan’s mother, Katie Lanza, recently posted on the Nolan The Champ’s HLH Journey Facebook page stating that “Nolan is loving life.” She also says his labs have been steadily increasing and that it has been nice to focus on “normal” baby things like sitting up and eating his favorite food, sweet potatoes.

It has not been an easy road for little Nolan, who has had to endure many platelet and blood transfusions, chemo and breathing treatments while battling HLH. After receiving the transplant, Nolan was on steroids and taking 8 to 10 different medications a couple times a day through an NG tube. However, they have been able to wean him off some of the medications recently in order to help his body rebuild its immune system on its own.

On June 20, Nolan was discharged from the stem cell unit at Lucille Packard in Standford Children’s Hospital to a room at the Ronald McDonald House near the hospital because he was doing so well, but because he must still adhere to strict isolation guidelines, Lanza says they will be mostly sticking to their room and only venturing out for Nolan’s appointments at Stanford.

Nolan has also been able to put on a little bit of weight the last couple of weeks, which hopefully means they will be able to remove the central line in his chest and the NG tube in the coming weeks.

“We are SO thankful for how well Nolan is doing!” wrote Lanza. “All the prayers and support have beyond amazing! Thank you!”