Dr. Lipoff: Heroes come in all sizes; and ages

Cancer is a disease many of us will have to face in our lifetime. Someone we love, know or perhaps even ourselves, will have to undergo treatment. It can be a terrible battle and it takes a strong family and community support to survive this ordeal.

Too many cases seem to be popping up in Southern Maryland, many affecting our kids. Some have survived their disease while others we have sadly lost.

All of these kids can inspire us due to their strength; in the face of adversity and an uncertain future, while receiving various treatments and yet still can act like a kid. This inner strength is what brings me to introduce you to Alexandria Herndon.

She was just a normal kid in 2012. She was an honor roll student at Gwynn Park High School but then after trying out for the cheerleading squad she started to have leg pain.

She was diagnosed with a very aggressive type of Cancer that affects teens called an Osteosarcoma. She went to Children’s Hospital in DC for treatment options. There she was put in the very capable hands of Dr. Jeffrey Dome, a doctor of Pediatric Oncology at Childrens.

Dr. Dome explained that the newer approach is to not bombard the body with heavy drugs but to focus on the gene mutation at the spot of the problem. This was news to me because in school I was taught that in most cases the limb was removed before spreading occurs elsewhere in the body. 

He also believes that strong psychosocial support improves the outcome of a patient. Alexx’s school really rallied around her while she was fighting and in turn, she gave them more courage and purpose. They became a stronger community because of her illness.

That is also something our community has been doing really well from; the Rally Against Cancer, Poker Runs, Car Show honoring Kayla and more. The need for this type of community involvement and strength is the reason we started the Foundation 4 Heroes; so we could be there and help support the kids, and parents of these wonderful children.

Alexx’s treatment was a success and she was back to being an active kid when she developed spots on her lungs. The cancer was back. She underwent chemotherapy and whooped up on cancer again. And today we wish her a HAPPY 17th BIRTHDAY!

Mike Koslofsky and I were at a Southern Maryland Business Network meeting on Tuesday at Blue Crabs Stadium to talk about the Foundation 4 Heroes. There we met Belinda Bransom who informed us of this amazing teen. She told us her whole life story and how she has been giving back to the community and even purchased dinner for a couple that needed some assistance. That’s a special kid.

Simultaneously we all thought she would make a great addition to help inspire kids who are battling diseases like cancer. Her insight and empathy towards others make her a fantastic hero. We reached out to her grandmother, Gayle, and they were excited about the opportunity to do something so positive. So were we.
It is truly our honor and privilege to have her join our mission to travel to wherever kids are and support them while they too are defeating cancer.

We have purchased airline tickets and a hotel room for them both for a magical trip to sunny Columbus, Ohio in March. Yes, Columbus. But, there we will meet 20,000 to 100,000 kids and parents, have a stop at Columbus’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital and then meet Arnold Schwarzenegger. We hope it is a fun little trip for Alexx and her grandmother, who has been helping her nonstop for 3 years.

Happy Birthday Alexx. May you continue to inspire us all for years to come.

Dr. Jay M. Lipoff is the owner of Back At Your Best Chiropractic & Physical Therapy, LLC, which is located in the Wildewood Shopping Center. Dr. Lipoff is also the author of “Back At Your Best; Balancing the Demands of Life With the Needs of Your Body.” It is available in book and Kindle format at Amazon.

He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Syracuse University in 1990, a Doctorate of Chiropractic (D.C.) from New York Chiropractic College (NYCC) in 1994 and he became a Certified Fitness Trainer (CFT) in 2005.

Dr. Lipoff is an Executive Board Member, International Chiropractic Association Council on Fitness and Sports Health Science; has a radio segment: Back At Your Best in 5 Minutes or Less, President and Founder; Foundation 4 Heroes, Contributing writer, Huffington Post’ Co-Founder, Drug Free Training USA; Member, NY Strength-promoting the importance of physical conditioning; Board Member of Public Relations Committee, Maryland Chiropractic Association; has spoken on nationally broadcasted radio interviews, has articles in print and referenced in over 100 print papers, magazine and on websites, President, Wildewood Business Network-promoting better business relations and community outreach.

For more information, go to, find us on facebook, or call 301-863-BEST (2378)., 844-F4Heroes.

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