Jojo is an Honorary Construction Manager for Children’s at Arthur M. Blank Hospital. He continues to amaze his physical therapists during Robotics Rehab appointments while beginning his scoliosis treatment journey.
Jojo strides toward goals despite spine tumor and scoliosis
Joseph Alonge, or Jojo as he’s known to most friends and family, was diagnosed with a spinal tumor just three days before his second birthday.
His mother, Toyin Alonge, had noticed that he was walking with a limp and was not able to sit with his legs criss-cross like the rest of his classmates at daycare. She took Jojo to the Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, where an MRI revealed the spine tumor.
Barunashish Brahma, MD, a Pediatric Neurosurgeon at Children’s, operated on Jojo a week after the diagnosis to remove as much of the tumor as possible. The toddler then began receiving chemotherapy treatments at the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center at Children’s. By the time he was 4 years old, Jojo had undergone two surgeries and three different types of chemo to remove as much of the tumor as possible and prevent further tumor growth.
The now 8-year-old is working hard at his Robotics Rehabilitation appointments at Children’s Scottish Rite Hospital twice a week to work on the physical regressions that his tumor caused. He focuses on improving his balance, walking gait and core strength. Despite his tumor recently beginning to grow again, Jojo is continuing to wow his care team.
“When his tumor did reoccur, I expected to see a lot of setback in functionality, but it's a testament to how hard of a worker he is and how great his family is that Jojo didn't have much setback functionally,” said Megan Washburn, a Physical Therapist at Children’s.
“He's now able to jump, run and hop, which he wasn't able to do a few years ago. My goal is to make sure he can keep up with his friends on the playground and join any sports team he may be interested in,” said Washburn.
Jojo’s spine tumor has now begun to cause a spinal curve called scoliosis. Under the care of the Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Center team at Children’s, he wears a spine brace to help prevent the curve from increasing in severity and to reduce the risk of spine surgery in the future.
The joyous, smiley young boy has Hope that all his dreams will become a reality as he continues to work hard in his therapy sessions.
Celebrating remission, Lex embodies strong will
Lex receives chemotherapy treatment for high-risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia at the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s. He is an Honorary Construction Manager for Children’s at Arthur M. Blank Hospital.Meet Lex
Hope keeps Ariella-Faith alive against difficult odds
Ariella-Faith underwent a successful liver transplant in 2017 and now wows her doctors with her dance moves. She is an Honorary Construction Manager for Children’s at Arthur M. Blank Hospital.Meet Ariella-Faith
Our Honorary Construction Managers provide on-the-ground and behind-the-scenes updates from the construction site at Arthur M. Blank Hospital.Watch Now