Like a typical 12-year-old boy, Edward Migliore loves to climb trees.
The thought this South Brunswick sixth grader – the son of Paul and Carol Migliore – could today pull himself up the branches of a neighborhood tree, however, would seem to be no short of a miracle to those who know his story.
Two years ago, two-thirds of Edward’s femur was removed after he was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer. Following surgery, 14 rounds of chemo and more than a year of rehabilitation at 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 have really walked without someone being right next to me while I was on my crutches,” Edward said. During surgery, 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 various types of cancer.
“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.”