Zach Murray is 14 year old 8th grader at Haddonfield Middle School. When Zach was 4 1/2 he was diagnosed with a rare form of Non Hodgkins Lymphoma, along with an Unspecified Immune Deficiency and Lung issues. After much work and a few trial and errors the doctors came up with the right treatments. It took several years of going to Children’s Hospital every week for treatments on the 4th floor Oncology Unit where Zach went into remission. It was great. He started to be like everyone else. Attending school regularly, working with tutors, doing homework, and he even started playing soccer, cross country, baseball, basketball and even tried football once.
As Zach has grown he has learned he has Dyslexia and some serious learning disabilities that may be side effects of his long term treatments. But he works hard at being a good student and a big brother. Saying all that, Zach is a great kid and has done a lot of growing this past year but along with the good changes came some bad ones too, during the summer 2014 Zach realized that he wasn’t feeling so great, he had terrible headaches, horrible pain and along with that he noticed rashes on his skin. His hands and feet were changing for the worse. It turns out his disease has returned and along with it his Neuropathy. Zach is again working with the doctors and fantastic people at Children’s Hospital to figure this out.
Things to know about Zach is that he loves his family, especially Grandma and Grandpa. His favorite color is Green and hisfavorite sports are Cross Country and Soccer. He had had the great opportunity to make dinners for families at the Ronald McDonald House in Camden and has had a blast doing it. He loves to play FIFA on Xbox and Playstation. His favorites foods are Steak & Sushi and he loves Brownies. Zach can be really funny and is a regular kid. He never gives up!
Michelle Chism has been the beloved kindergarten teacher at Haddonfield’s Central School for the past 10 years. Everyone she meets immediately remembers her warm smile and friendly personality. Her commitment to our community and our children in Haddonfield has been her passion, and she continues to receive visits notes from past and present students in her class.
In August 2006, Michelle was diagnosed with malignant melanoma. Reoccurrences in 2009, 2010 and finally Stage 4 in 2010 meant intensive in and outpatient treatment. In Fall of 2010, Michelle travelled to Bethesda, MD to National Institute of Health for TIL trial. She was pronounced cancer free in April, 2011.
Unfortunately, she was diagnosed in November 2014 with leukemia and underwent treatment at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. She was pronounced in remission November, 2014 and underlying Myeloid Dysplasia Syndrome was discovered. This past February, Michelle underwent a bone marrow transplant and is working hard to recover fully from all the treatment.
Michelle is an avid Philadelphia sports fan, graduated from Salisbury University and currently resides in Burlington County.