By Stephanie Stahl
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Twenty-three-year-old Samantha Knox underwent grueling chemotherapy treatments at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. It’s all because a very aggressive form of cancer in her throat.
“It’s been really hard. And there’s been days that I thought it would be easier to just give up and not do it anymore,” said Samantha.
Despite the painful struggle, Samantha feels lucky and keeps fighting for her family and all the love they share.
“It was really, really wonderful that this was picked up as early as it was,” said Dr. Naomi Balamuth, an oncologist at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
It was a discovery that started at the Walgreen’s Take Care Clinic in Deptford, New Jersey. Samantha and her mother, Karyn, stopped by last summer for a physical, which was required for college. It was cheaper than going to their doctor, and quicker, they thought.
“I really wanted to get in there, have her sign a paper and walk out,” said Samantha.
But during the visit, nurse practitioner Renee Corradetti noticed something abnormal in the back of Samantha’s throat.
“She just said, ‘You should get it checked out.’ Thank God that I did,” said Samantha.
After the Knox family contacted CBS 3, we arranged a surprise reunion. The family wanted to thank Renee, who never knew what happened to Samantha.
The family brought flowers and a necklace with Samantha’s birth stone as tokens of appreciation. But there are no things or words to express this kind of gratitude. This family is forever grateful to a stranger, a nurse, who says she was just doing her job.
Since the cancer was caught early, doctors surgically removed it. The chemotherapy was a precautionary measure to make sure it’s all gone.