6 Years Old at Diagnosis
My superhero’s name is Aleya Moehring. She is like most 6 year olds – she loves swimming, Barbie dolls, playing the Wii and interacting with other kids. But just recently, she was diagnosed with pilomyxoid astrocytoma, a type of brain tumor inside her spinal cord.
When I first received her diagnosis, I became physically sick because she is my only child. That was then followed by anger because I had taken her to numerous doctors, orthopedic surgeons, therapists, and hospitals, and they had all missed it.
After Aleya received an MRI that led to her diagnosis, something devastating happened. Because she had been relaxed and lying flat during the MRI, her tumor had been allowed to move. That resulted in her being paralyzed.
Aleya didn’t even get a chance to react because she was immediately rushed into emergency surgery. There she received a laminectomy (surgery that removes the back part of the vertebra that covers the spinal cord).
Today, Aleya is receiving weekly chemo treatments. She had had nine doses to date, and after her tenth, she will get another MRI to see if the chemo is actually working. Then will continue chemo or radiation, depending on the results.
This diagnosis and treatment has been devastating to our whole family. I would do literally anything to give this precious, innocent soul a healthy childhood – not a perfect one, but a healthy one.
Aleya is a superhero in every aspect. She has been through more than any adult that I know. Despite all that she is going through, she keeps a positive attitude and never complains about being sore, or tired, or sick. It is the most humbling thing I’ve ever witnessed.
Children’s cancer research is so necessary. It’s because of research that her rare tumor was diagnosed, and a plan was put in place to get rid of it the fastest. It saved her life.
Written by Amanda Moehring, Aleya’s mother
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