Health & Wellness

Time is Running Out: Help Campbell Hoyt Fight Her Cancer

July 16, 2014 at 6:19 AM

BERNARDSVILLE, NJ - Campbell (Cam) Hoyt has been battling Ependymoma, brain and spine cancer, since Aug. 20, 2009. She was just 3 years old when she was diagnosed. 
In the last few weeks, Campbell has had major disease progression. There is no known cure for multiple recurrent anaplastic ependymoma.
But there is one possibility to try to cure Campbell's cancer. However, it is costly and the Hoyt's insurance carrier has denied coverage. Friends of the Hoyts have set up two ways to help--a petition to the insurance company and a donation website.
Since Cam's recurrence in 2011, she has tried a total of five clinical trials, one multiple drug protocol, one experimental usage of a drug based on research being done at St. Jude, and one compassionate usage of an adult medication. They have tried all clinical trials available to Campbell. Only one worked for about 11 months. The others have failed miserably, with massive growth in her brain tumors. This year alone, Campbell has tried three treatments, without luck. She has now had a total of nine major brain surgeries and one spine surgery. Full gene sequencing has been done on all of her tumors that were removed, to help guide treatment choices.

On the website, the Hoyt's say,"We have one last protocol available to try to kill Campbell's cancer. This protocol has not been arbitrarily chosen. Sick Kids hospital in Toronto, Canada, a premier center for ependymoma treatment and research, found that these two drugs when sprinkled on PF primary ependymoma cells (what Cam's are) in a lab, had a remarkable death rate. This rate was increased when the two drugs were used in combination. I am not being melodramatic when I say, this is our last hope. Cam's tumors are growing rapidly, including one that has now infiltrated her brain stem, rendering it inoperable."
Both of these drugs are FDA approved for use in children. Azacitadine, an IV chemotherapy, has been approved. The second agent, Vorinostat (also known as Zolinza or SAHA), is an oral chemotherapy, has been denied. The reason given is that it is not FDA approved for treatment of ependymoma. Here's the catch - nothing is. There is no known effective chemotherapy for ependymoma.
Not only do they have the Sick Kids research data, and also two other patients who have successfully used this therapy for disease stabilization, but they have Campbell's gene sequencing. This sequencing provides extra evidence that the two drug combination is a good choice for Campbell. 
Good is almost irrelevant. It is her only choice at this point; that or death. 
They do not have time to waste on the lengthy appeals process, which can take months. Cam is declining rapidly and is supposed to start the oral chemotherapy this week. The cost of the medication out of pocket is $5,000 per month. $10,000 is needed to cover the first two cycles of medication and then Campbell will have scans to determine if the medications are working.
To help by donating go to:
To sign the petition to help to put pressure on Anthem Blue Cross to approve Zolinza for Campbell so she can start treatment go to:

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Missing: Have You Seen Mickey?

August 19, 2016

A sweet and affectionate indoor black and white tuxedo cat is missing, having last been seen July 25 in Martinsville.

The cat, named Mickey, has four white feet, white on her neck and a spot on her chin, with big white whiskers. She is front declawed and spayed.

Anyone with information should call 908-227-6087, or email


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Save the Dates: Back to School Information for Warren Parents and Students

August 21, 2016

WARREN, NJ - By week's end, schedules are anticipated to be emailed to all parents and students in the Warren Township and Watchung Hills School Districts. Some important dates to start the 2016-17 school year and plan for the first week of school are:

Walk Throughs and Orientation

For all K-5 students and family members, a Walk Through where students can walk ...

Warren History Comes Alive for Warren Middle School Students

WARREN, NJ - Picture this. It’s the winter of 1778-79 and 8,000 to 10,000 war-weary soldiers in General George Washington’s Continental Army have set up camp on what is now the present-day site of Angelo L. Tomaso School and the surrounding area.

Called the Second Middlebrook Encampment, certain historians believe that such prominent American Revolutionary War ...

NJ Magazine Publishes Top 100 Public High Schools: Warren's WHRHS Improves to No. 11

August 24, 2016


WARREN,NJ - Watchung Hills Regional High School has been ranked No. 11 on New Jersey Monthly's list  of top 100 public high schools in the state published in the September issue. The last time the list came out, in 2014, WHRHS was ranked No. 50. 

The rankings are based entirely on data reported by the schools to the state Department of ...

Save the Dates: Back to School Information for Warren Parents and Students

WARREN, NJ - By week's end, schedules are anticipated to be emailed to all parents and students in the Warren Township and Watchung Hills School Districts. Some important dates to start the 2016-17 school year and plan for the first week of school are:

Walk Throughs and Orientation

For all K-5 students and family members, a Walk Through where students can walk ...

Rocking Horse Ranch: Year-Round Family Fun in the Hudson Valley

August 30, 2016

HIGHLAND, NY — If your kids get bored easily, Rocking Horse Ranch is up to the challenge.

Just a one-and-a-half hour drive from Westfield, the all-inclusive offers year-round horseback riding (“pony” rides for the little ones) on well-trained horses, a small indoor water park, an arcade with mini bowling, ping pong and a BB gun rifle range. In the winter, there’s ...

BROTHERHOOD WINERY in Washingtonville, NY for Wine Connoisseurs and Many More

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Whether you are a wine connoisseur, wish to learn about the production of wine and champagne or ...

TAPinto Complete Guide to Sweet Sounds Downtown Jazz Festival: Week 9

WESTFIELD, NJ — The 20th Annual Sweet Sounds Downtown Jazz Festival, taking place Tuesday nights in July and August from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., continues Aug. 30 with its ninth evening of free outdoor concerts by five bands at locations throughout Downtown Westfield. (Rain date Aug. 31.)

On this last night of the 2016 season, Quimby Street will be closed to traffic to make way for music and ...

Shamrock 5K Run or Walk at the Ship Bottom Irish Festival

August 29, 2016

SHIP BOTTOM, NJ - Be sure to pre register online for our Shamrock 5K on Sunday, September 11. Entry fee is $30 and includes a t-shirt (only guaranteed to pre registrants), entry to the Irish Festival and a ticket for a free beverage. Great prizes awarded to the top finishers.

Marina's Mission: Local EMT Heading to Louisiana to Aid Flood Victims

STAFFORD, NJ - In the wake of the Louisiana flood that occured just two weeks ago, a local EMT wants to make it "her mission" to aid those victims in this sudden crisis.

Southern Regional Class of 2013 graduate, Marina Milia, is the local EMT traveling to the Golf Coast and leading a convoy to help her hand out the donations to the families ...

Shelter Helping Heartworm-Positive Beagle Heal, Asking People to Consider Donating

August 30, 2016

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Somerset Regional Animal Shelter is looking for someone to adopt Betsy, who was recently rescued from an overcrowded Kentucky shelter.

This sweet young beagle arrived in New Jersey, and the shelter went to work to get her the help she needed. Betsy was found to be heartworm positive, and was suffering from malnutrition, digestive issues and an upper respiratory ...

Canine Carnival: Annual Bark-a-Que Brings Rescue Dogs to Summit's Village Green Sept. 10

SUMMIT, NJ - Home for Good Dog Rescue will host its Sixth Annual “Bark-a-Que,” a celebration of the 4,500 dogs the non-profit organization has rescued since its inception, September 10 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Summit's Village Green.

The event, which is open to the public, features food and merchandise vendors, family activities, dog contests ...

The Dirty Dozen, Less One

I recently experienced something of a meltdown in the egg aisle at the supermarket over which kind of eggs to buy.  After much consideration, I finally settled on the eggs I wanted (organic, free-range, and cage-free), when I discovered another problem.

The next time I opened an egg carton at the store, there was an egg missing.

Having been the victim of covert cracked eggs in the ...

Swimsuit by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Swimsuit by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro (Grand Central Publishing, 2009)

James Patterson novels serve a purpose; they are mindless, fun thrillers that keep the reader awake all night racing through two page chapters at the speed of light. After spending a couple of weeks plowing through a lengthy tome, Patterson and co-author of the moment (in this case Maxine Paetro) provide escapism ...

Going for Brass

I get all teary-eyed watching the Olympics on TV.  You  know, the human drama, the sacrifice, the dedication, the thrill of competition, the athletic lip sync murmur to the national anthem on the podium.  


This year I discovered that there are many other Olympic champions besides the usual cadre of spring-wound gymnastic pixies and ferociously wedged, hairless swimmers ...