Chandler boy getting ready for risky clinical trial as he battles rare cancer for a 3rd time

Chandler family hopes for miracle as 9-year-old fights cancer again

Luke Ozga’s battle with cancer started in 2019 and he is currently battling cancer for the third time. Relatives hope a risky Texas clinical trial can rid him of the disease. FOX 10’s Ellen McNamara has more.

CHANDLER, Aris. – For an East Valley family, they hope the third time is the charm, as their nine-year-old child is fighting for his life.

“There’s not much I like to do right now. I can’t do much,” Luke Ozga said. His battle began in December 2019 when doctors discovered he had a massive tumor on his heart.

“He was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma, which is actually very rare. It’s rare enough that we don’t even have a protocol for it,” said Luke’s mother, Heather.

Cancer quickly spread to Luke’s kidneys and his stomach. He immediately began chemotherapy and thankfully went into remission months later.

The joy of redemption, however, was short-lived.

In December 2020, Luke learned that his cancer had returned. This time he needed a bone marrow transplant from his brother.

“He did really well again, handled things really well, was the sickest I’ve ever seen. It was horrible to see as a parent,” Heather said.

She hoped the treatment would yield better results this time around, but three months after his transplant, doctors delivered devastating news that Luke’s cancer had returned for a third time.

“I think the hardest thing at that point was that there weren’t many options left at that point,” Heather said. “We could do a few chemos, but those would have been only temporary and wouldn’t have put them into remission.”

With few options available, Luke’s doctors at Phoenix Children’s Hospital told Heather about a new Texas clinical trial using his brother’s cells to fight Luke’s cancer. However, that treatment only lasts about six months, which means that if all goes well, Luke will have to have another transplant.

It’s risky, but it’s a risk Luke and his mom are willing to take.

“This has to work, this has to work,” Heather said. “We keep saying that our new theory or our motto is ‘the third time is a charm’, and so this third time has to be the charm, because we have no other options after this.”

Armer Foundation For Kids’ donation page for Luke Ozga

Be the match (In Spanish/En Español)

Other top stories

Tune in to FOX 10 Phoenix for the latest news

Download the FOX 10 News app for the latest local news

Sign up for FOX 10 Email Alerts, Newsletters

Comments are closed.