SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ – Like a typical 12-year-old boy, Edward Migliore loves to climb trees. The thought that this South Brunswick sixth grader, the son of Paul and Carol Migliore, could today pull himself up the branches of a neighborhood tree, would seem to be nothing short of a miracle to those who know his story.
Two years ago, two-thirds of Edward’s right femur was removed after he was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer, mesenchymal chondrosarcoma. Following surgery, 14 rounds of chemotherapy, and more than a year of rehabilitation at Jersey Physical Therapy, Edward is out of his wheelchair and – most importantly – free of cancer.
His journey was literally taken one step at a time.
When I first came to physical therapy, I couldn’t really walk without someone being right next to me while I was on my crutches,” Edward said. Edward had a major surgery where most of his cancerous femur was replaced by a metallic rod. “By the last treatment (about a year later), I needed no crutches, no cane … nothing.
According to physical therapist (and co-founder) of Jersey Physical Therapy, Marc Rubenstein, physical therapy played a vital role in more than building strength, flexibility, comfort and improving function in Edward’s right leg. It also served to maintain Edward’s strength and stamina through his final chemo treatments – a common benefit physical therapy offers patients of all ages and with various types of cancers.
We’ve helped a number of patients with cancer restore strength and functionality,” Rubenstein said. “There’s a large population that can benefit from these physical therapy treatments, and perhaps it’s underutilized.
In Edward’s case, physical therapy also offered him a sense of empowerment.
That’s really how I felt,” he said. “There were so many complications with surgery and chemo treatments, but with physical therapy, I could have at least some control over my health.
Edward said his initial prognosis suggested he’d do little more than walk following surgery. But today, he’s climbing trees again, an activity he says “gives me a whole new perspective on things.”
Coincidentally, Edward’s journey from patient to survivor is one that has offered a fresh perspective to those around him, including the Jersey Physical Therapy staff members who worked with him for more than a year to restore a sense of normalcy in his life. Jersey Physical Therapy had already been a long-time supporter of the Hugs for Brady Foundation, a non-profit foundation that helps children (and their families) who are dealing with childhood cancer.
Edward was recently honored as a hero at this year’s Hugs for Brady Foundation 3rd Annual Winter Gala, an event at which his father, Paul, was asked to speak. Paul took the occasion to offer some sobering facts about pediatric cancer:
- One in 320 kids will be diagnosed with cancer, with 40 kids diagnosed each day. Of these 40 children, seven will not survive the battle.
- Just 3% of all funds raised for cancer research goes toward the research of childhood cancer.
About Jersey Physical Therapy
Jersey Physical Therapy was founded in 2002 in Kendall Park by South Brunswick natives Marc Rubenstein, PT, DPT, OCS, and Geoffrey Hunt, BS, PT, OCS. The clinic expanded in 2006 with partner Sean Moore, PT, MPT, and the opening of a second office in Milltown/East Brunswick. Both practices – and a soon-to-be-announced third location – strive to deliver the highest quality in physical therapy services with a focus on evidence-based, one-on-one therapy.
The Jersey Physical Therapy team works closely with the Hugs for Brady Foundation and supports all that they strive to accomplish.