Patrick Fridland Osteosarcoma Research Fund
The summer prior to his senior year at UW-Whitewater Patrick was experiencing some pain in his back and right leg. The doctor ordered physical therapy to help lessen the symptoms. However, when he returned to school in the fall the pain had become unbearable and an MRI was ordered. An 8–9-inch tumor was discovered intertwined in Patrick’s right pelvic bone and sacrum, and further testing revealed that it was chondroblastic osteosarcoma, a rare, fast growing pediatric bone cancer. Patrick and his family were informed that in order to remove the cancer his right leg, up to and including his right pelvic bone, would need to be amputated.
Patrick endured seven rounds of chemotherapy, prior to a Froedtert Hospital record 35-hour surgery, which removed his cancer and partially rebuilt his right pelvic bone with bones from his amputated right leg. Soon after the surgery Patrick began another 11 rounds of chemotherapy, lasting for another six months. In addition, because of the area of the surgery, the amount of hardware necessary, and the risk of permanent neurological damage in his lower spine, Patrick needed to remain on his back for the entire six-month period.
Soon after the chemotherapy was completed, and Patrick received the doctors’ blessings to begin normal movements, he began the long road of physical therapy to hopefully regain his independence. Unfortunately, this was made much more difficult because the surgeons had been forced to remove the S1 nerve from Patrick’s remaining left leg, because it was entangled in the cancer that was removed. This meant that Patrick had no feeling in his remaining leg below his calf. With this large hill to climb, Patrick enthusiastically gave his very best efforts at rehabilitation, and his progress was remarkable. As Patrick progressed, discussions with the doctors moved to a possible prosthetic leg. However, it was about that time that Patrick began experiencing pain and other worrisome symptoms and testing confirmed everyone’s worst fears, Patrick’s cancer was back.
Patrick tried another form of chemotherapy, which was not successful. Also, because the cancer returned in the area where all the internal hardware was located, radiation to possibly control the new tumor could not be done. It was at this point Patrick was told that there was nothing else that could be done, and his cancer was terminal. While this is the worst news anyone could ever receive, Patrick did not want to dwell on the inevitable. Instead, he focused on living each and every day of his remaining life in the most positive manner possible. He filled the remaining time he had with extended family; including trips to Las Vegas, nights at home cozied up to the bonfire in his favorite recliner, and twice weekly games of Texas Hold’em. With his wonderful attitude and outlook on life, he was an inspiration everyone he came in contact with. Patrick lost his courageous battle with cancer on May 24, 2018 at the age of 24.
The process that Patrick went through of chemotherapy, surgery, and more chemotherapy has been the protocol for chondroblastic osteosarcoma since the 1970’s. Patrick said many times that he wanted his family and friends to donate to osteosarcoma research so nobody would have to go through what he did. Because of Patrick’s desire to help the outcomes of future osteosarcoma patients, and his passion for his all-time favorite activity – golf, the Patrick Fridland Memorial Osteosarcoma Open is held annually to raise money for osteosarcoma research. All money raised is donated to the Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund at the Children’s Cancer Research Fund.
Please help current and future osteosarcoma sufferers by donating in Patrick’s memory!