Skip to main content

FOX Television Show “Bones” to Air an Episode Featuring Neurofibromatosis

By January 30, 2013December 5th, 2023Awareness

The Children’s Tumor Foundation is pleased to announce that on Monday, February 4, 2013, the FOX Television show Bones will air an episode featuring a subplot on neurofibromatosis (NF). Several NF Heroes in CTF shirts will also appear on the show, and NF Hero Cristina Hernandez even won a contest to meet with the stars of the show, David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel (see photo at right).

Please encourage your family and friends to watch this episode of Bones. Post about it on your Facebook, Twitter, and other social media pages. Send emails to your coworkers. Host a viewing party. Spread the word and help increase NF awareness!


The following was written by Michael Peterson who spearheaded the initiative to have NF included on Bones:

My name is Michael Peterson. I am a writer/producer on the TV show Bones, a procedural drama where the lead character solves crimes by examining victims’ skeletal structures.

Three years ago, my wife, Kelly, and I were blessed with our first child, Natalie. Right away, my wife and I noticed that Natalie had a bowing of her left leg. Our pediatrician told us the leg would straighten in time. When Natalie was six months old, a second pediatrician diagnosed Natalie with neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder which can cause tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body. My wife and I were shocked by the news and surprised that we had never heard of NF even though it affects 1 in every 3,000 people, more than cystic fibrosis, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and Huntington’s disease combined. After processing this information, I eventually told my fellow writers on Bones and literally threatened, “If any of you write an episode where you use NF as a bone clue, I will kill you.”

Last year, my wife and I had an epiphany. Maybe the fact that I work on a “bone show” and my daughter has an illness that has manifested exclusively in her tibia isn’t just some weird cosmic irony – maybe it’s an opportunity. I came to my bosses, Hart Hanson and Stephen Nathan, and they generously allowed me to pursue a story line that would help raise NF awareness. That episode, entitled “The Doll in the Derby,” will air on FOX on February 4th.

Below is a photo of Natalie who is about to turn three. At one and a half years old, Natalie’s tibia fractured as a result of the bowing, and since that time she has endured four surgeries and numerous casts and braces to correct the bend. To give you an idea of her character, when Natalie was almost two, she was trying her best to run around despite the cast on her leg. Unfortunately, Natalie tripped and fell down hard. Rather than cry or scream for help, Natalie picked herself up and shouted, “Ground! You can’t stop me!”

The pink cast Natalie is wearing in this photo is called a “spica cast” and she was placed in it after her first major surgery. The spica cast extended to her waist and immobilized BOTH her legs. Still, she found a way to keep smiling.


Several NF Heroes will appear in the Bones episode that features neurofibromatosis. Below are quotes from two of the NF families involved in the taping of this special episode of Bones.

“We had so much fun before and during the taping of the Bones episode! These NF kids are so special and they were treated like the heroes that they are! It was really neat to see a little bit of filming and meet some of the cast. Emily Deschanel was very sweet! Thank you FOX and Michael and Kelly Peterson for including us in this awesome way to raise awareness for neurofibromatosis! We are grateful for the experience! We would love to do another scene anytime!!”

Lisa Murray, mother of NF Hero Sean

“We were so honored to be a part of this epic event for Bones, NF, and the Children’s Tumor Foundation. What could be better than being treated like a star and mingling with all the people behind and in front of the camera at FOX Studios? Doing it along with all our friends from the Children’s Tumor Foundation! It was truly a memorable and exciting event. Don’t miss it!”

Joyce Marks, mother of NF Hero Zach