Age: Freshman at Los Altos High School
Condition treated for: Aplastic Anemia, diagnosed at 9 years old
Favorite Memory of Packard Children's: the food and the legos!
In the spring of his 3rd grade year, at just 9 years old, Grady’s bone marrow and liver stopped working because his immune system was attacking itself due to a disease called aplastic anemia. Through the miracle of scientific innovation at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford and the Bass Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Diseases, Grady’s care team was able to save his liver by adapting an adult surgery that had never been done on children. Grady’s father, Dr. Rusty Hoffman, a Stanford doctor, along with his team, ventured into uncharted territory to save Grady’s liver. Because of this, he didn’t have a liver transplant, and now seven other patients with aplastic anemia have kept their liver thanks to this process.
Grady’s immune system then started to attack his bone marrow, and he received a bone marrow transplant. Against the odds, Grady’s father was a match. Research to find treatments and cures for aplastic anemia doesn’t have as much funding because it is so rare, so they had to find similar conditions to get information about the transplant.
Because Grady’s disease was so multifaceted, and his care team included so many different doctors, he was placed in the complex care unit at the Bass Center. His family had a complex care coordinator to ease the stress and logistical challenges of scheduling multiple doctors’ appointments and keeping track of the slew of medical information.
During his treatment, Grady’s biggest fear was being held back a year in school and having to leave his friends. Thankfully, at Packard Children’s he was able to receive instruction through the Hospital School, a collaboration between the Palo Alto Unified School District and Packard Children’s. Even in the midst of treatment, Grady was peppered with math fact questions and his teachers helped him keep up with other schoolwork and as a result, he was able to stay in his grade!
Through great efforts of constant medical and emotional support, to the little things like age appropriate discussions about treatment and procedures, Packard Children’s and its Bass Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Diseases became more than a regular hospital to the Hoffman family.
Grady loves to surf, and even though he had to wait more than a year after treatment ended because of precautions to get back into the water, today he is back and barreling!
Come support patients like Grady at Stanford University Dance Marathon, February 17-18th!