Childhood cancer is the second most common cause of death in children in the United States. However, for the 40-plus known cases in southwest Louisiana, there is help available right here in Acadiana. Dr. Ammar Morad, Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist on staff at Women's & Children's Hospital, specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and blood disorders such as hemophilia, sickle cell disease and bleeding disorders in children.
For more information, see our pediatric cancer progress report:
Pediatric Cancer Program
Our pediatric hematology/oncology program opened in September 2007. For ten years it has continued to acquire a growing list of highly skilled, educated, experienced and compassionate physicians and staff to treat an increased patient volume with varying types of cancer and blood disorders. Along the way, we’ve continued to establish strong, well-founded relationships with multiple community partners to ensure patients and their families experience comprehensive care right here in Acadiana without having to travel away from their built-in support system of family, friends and neighbors.
The program now serves 16 parishes with a pediatric population of 300,000 – including clinic locations in Lake Charles and Alexandria. While the number of patients we treat continues to grow, our program has maintained a more than 90 percent success rate. It continues to be a sincere honor and privilege to serve and work with such amazing families in Acadiana.
At a glance:
- Program officially active for 10 years
- 130 pediatric cancer patients treated
- 90 percent cure rate has been achieved
- Children have come from 14 parishes
We treat the following diagnoses:
Oncology: Leukemias, Brain Tumors, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Neuroblastoma, Wilms’ Tumor, Rhabdomyosarcoma, Ewing’s Sarcoma, Osteosarcoma, and Liver Tumors.
Hematology: Acquired and Hereditary Anemias, Neutropenias, Disorders of Leukocyte Function, Histiocytic Disorders, Thrombocytopenia Disorders, Acquired and Hereditary Coagulation Abnormalities, and Abnormalities of Platelet Function.
Cancer and Infusion Center
Infusion treatments right here at the Kids Specialty Center
Oncology and blood disorder treatment should not require travel arrangements. That’s why the Cancer & Infusion Center, an outpatient treatment center located on the campus of Women's & Children's Hospital Hospital, provides infusions, transfusions, injections and other related services for Acadiana’s women and children.
The nurses and staff have extensive training and experience in providing quality service to oncology and blood disorder patients. In addition, the Child Life Specialist Program provides age-appropriate approaches to help the littlest patients and their loved ones better understand procedures and treatment options. Treatment services include:
- Blood/blood products administration
- IV solutions / medications
- Hydration / fluids administration
Cancer & Infusion Center nurses conduct patient assessments prior to administering any medications and monitor symptoms and side effects during infusions. Call (337) 521-9500 to learn more.
"Celebrate Life!" is an invitation-only event for pediatric hematology/oncology patients and their families hosted each fall by Women's & Children's Hospital Hospital and Dr. Ammar Morad in September, national Pediatric Cancer Awareness month. The event features games, family fun activities and special presentations. It celebrates the milestones and accomplishments of pediatric hematology and cancer patients, and gives patients and families a chance to interact, relax and have fun together.
Monkey in My Chair
Monkey in My Chair is a national program for preschool and elementary-aged children who are away from school because of a cancer diagnosis. A large, stuffed monkey sits in the patient’s chair when they are out of school – whether for a day or an extended period for treatment – helps classmates understand what is going on and to help maintain the patient’s “place” in the classroom.
Beads of Courage
The Women's & Children's Hospital Hospital Beads of Courage program is part of a national program that supports children who are facing serious illness. At the beginning of the program, the child is given a length of string and beads to spell out their first name. Then, as each stage of treatment is concluded, the patient is given a Bead of Courage that commemorates the milestone. It’s a small thing that means the world to our patients. We are proud to be one of only two hospitals in Louisiana that are partners in the program.
Pets for Health and Delta Society certified pets have been working with non-contagious patients in their rooms at Women's & Children's Hospital Hospital for nearly a decade. They help to further research on human/animal interaction and integrated therapies. Their visits to our patients at the Kids Specialty Center have proven to have a positive effect on our pediatric oncology patients and their families, too.
Our Community Partners
The pediatric cancer and hematology program at Women's & Children's Hospital Hospital is fortunate to have area businesses and organizations that continue to collaborate with us on initiatives and programs that enable us to expand our services and improve our program. We are truly grateful for the following partners:
- A Baker’s Choice
- A Cure NWLA
- Acadiana’s Hope for a Cure
- Action Specialties
- Addi Faith’s Foundation
- Alex’s Lemonade Stand
- American Cancer Society
- American Childhood Cancer Organization
- Baton Rouge Quilts for Kids
- Battle 4 A Cure
- Bayou Wood Turners
- Cancer Care
- Caps for Kids
- Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation
- Colors for a Cause
- Conkerr Cancer
- Delilah Simmons, St. Martinville, LA
- Down Syndrome Association of Acadiana
- Dreams Come True of Louisiana
- Emma Paige Foundation
- Families Helping Families of Acadiana
- First Baptist Church of Lafayette
- Foundation for Children with Cancer
- Great Harvest Bread Company
- Happy Cakes
- Hogs for the Cause Inc.
- Icing Smiles Inc.
- Isaiah Alonso Foundation
- Keep the Faith Sharing Project
- Lafayette Fire Department
- Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office
- Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
- Lydia Cancer Association
- Mary Bordelon, St. Martinville, LA
- The Max Foundation
- Miles Perret Cancer Services
- Mission 4 Maureen
- National Children’s Cancer Society
- Nellie’s Catwalk 4 Kids
- Optimist Leukemia Foundation
- Police Association of Lafayette
- Raising Canes
- Teri Louviere Insurance
- UL Lafayette Women’s Basketball and Coach Garry Brodhead
Praise from Parents
“Unlike other treatment centers, whenever we call or show up for our appointments, we see the same people each time — we don’t have to keep telling our story. That’s important. And, Dr. Morad is amazing. He has a fabulous bedside manner. (Luke loves to come home and tell his
grandfather the jokes he’s learned from Dr. Morad.) He’s so good with kids — he’s kind of like part of our family.”
-- Dawn Page, Mom of Luke, Age 5
“Going away for treatment would have kept us away from the comfort of home and the support of our family. On top of that, Dr. Morad is amazing. He draws diagrams for me. He takes the time to talk with our son about his interests and he even takes the time to talk to all our family members, answering their questions. During those first few weeks, when emotions were running high, the Child Life Specialists made sure our son understood the diagnosis and brought a sense of normalcy to our situation.”
-- Peggy Bearb, Mom of Eddie Paul, Age 8
“It’s really hard to hear that your child has cancer. There’s some denial and it’s hard to focus, but Dr. Morad understands that. He patiently shares everything with you and walks you through it. Robin, his nurse, created a special calendar for us and Janie (Child Life Specialist) always seems to show up exactly when we need her. They all go above and beyond!”
-- Jodie Liotta, Mom of Kaley, Age 11
“When my son was first diagnosed everybody kept telling me to go to another center out of state. So I did my research and learned that Dr. Morad’s program is the same as other national programs, but it lets us stay here at home. Plus, Timothy’s treatments don’t have to be in a hospital now that the infusion therapy is right there in the same building. I wouldn’t trade Dr. Morad for anything!”
-- Kennethia Thomas, Mom of Timothy, Age 12
Praise from Physicians
“It never gets easier to deliver bad news to the parents of the children I care for. These families are always heartbroken and afraid. Dr. Morad has made himself available to myself and my patients in these moments of need. His bedside manner is one of kindness and compassion. He answers questions for families and helps to reassure them in the most unsure of times. These families can now stay home and close to extended family to receive treatment we were unable to provide before Dr. Morad’s arrival in Lafayette. Dr. Morad is an irreplaceable asset to our community.”
-- Farrah R. Huval, MD, Lafayette
“Dr. Morad has been coming to our clinic for 5 years and has provided excellent care to our hematology and oncology patients. He is both a caring and compassionate physician that has been a valuable asset to our group.”
-- Bruce M. Thompson, MD, Lake Charles
“I have been very pleased with Dr. Morad’s care of our children with oncology and hematologic problems. His expertise and knowledge are unparalleled in his field and in pediatrics in general. I feel Dr. Morad goes above and beyond expectation in his availability in taking transfers, accepting new onset emergencies, and just talking on the phone to me and worried parents.”
-- John N. Rhodes, MD, Alexandria