Chimerix approves experimental drug to young child after nation pleads for his life
*Update: Chimerix has approved their drug for administration to young Josh
Hundreds of miles away from her hometown of Warsaw, a mother is battling for her grievously ill child, praying for a miracle.
She is not alone, however, as the nation watches the fate of young Joshua Hardy, a 7 year old first grader who has survived cancer only to become stricken with a virus that may take his life. The answer lies in the hands of one company with the sole means to cure him.
Josh’s story began when he was just an infant.
At just 9-months-old, Josh’s father Todd and his mother, Aimee, a 1990 Rappahannock High School graduate whose father, Joe Staton, is a well-known and respected member of the community who worked for many years as a Virginia Department of Transportation employee, found out that their son, the second youngest of their four boys, had a rare form of kidney cancer.
With less than a 20 percent chance of survival, after battling the disease four times and undergoing multiple surgeries, Josh seemed to be in remission, playing with friends and family and captivating them with his acerbic wit and never ending smiles.
According to his aunt, Cheryl Sweet of Warsaw, he was cancer free for three years until 2013, when doctors found something that caused them concern.
“They did a bone marrow biopsy and found that he had a disorder likely caused by his previous cancer treatments,” Cheryl said, adding that because of his weakened immune system Josh had become susceptible to any virus imaginable.
“To all of us this is devastating because if you just knew Josh, he is such an absolute hoot!” Cheryl said. “When St. Jude’s brought him in for the bone marrow transplant, he was going to be in Memphis so we moved our traditional Christmas Eve to early December.
“We had all gone up for a special visit and when I first walked in Josh said with a grin, ‘Where is my present, you know I am not going to be available for several months.’”
Shortly after the diagnosis, Josh contracted Adenovirus after a marrow transplant and another round of chemotherapy.
According to the Center for Disease Control, Adenoviruses are common and most are not serious. Adenoviruses most often cause respiratory illness, fever, stomach pain and other related symptoms.
For Josh, it was a death sentence, unless he could get the one drug that effectively battles the…