16 Months Old at Diagnosis
Sabrina was a happy, healthy baby with no symptoms other than a big belly. But I sensed something wasn’t right. I decided to feel her belly and found a hard lump. Her pediatrician ordered an ultrasound that revealed a huge tumor filling most of her abdomen, compressing her vital organs, and wrapping around her aorta and other major vessels. We knew instantly that she had cancer. It was one of the most terrifying moments of our lives. We couldn’t believe that our perfect, healthy daughter could be so sick.
Sabrina was admitted to the hospital immediately for biopsy surgery, port placement, more scans, and other testing. She was diagnosed with stage three neuroblastoma and started chemotherapy the following week. After two rounds of chemotherapy, she underwent an aggressive eight-hour resection surgery in which her surgeon was able to remove almost all of her tumor. She spent over a month in the hospital after surgery with numerous complications. As heartbreaking as it was for us to see our 18-month old struggle in the hospital, it was just as hard to see all of the other children and families fighting their own difficult battles. It’s something we will never forget.
Today, Sabrina looks and acts like any other four-year-old, and that has been our greatest triumph! Her surgery permanently damaged her digestive tract, and she is small for her age as a result of her treatments, but she is otherwise healthy. She’s been off treatment for two years and recently had her first visit in the long-term follow-up clinic where she will continue with scans and monitoring. We are so grateful for the joy and laughter she brings to our family. She lives life to the fullest and enjoys preschool, ballet, gymnastics, art, and princesses. She is our little firecracker!
Our family makes giving back to the children’s cancer community a priority. We have participated in CureSearch’s Northern Virginia Walk for the past three years. “Team Sabrina” has raised more than $40,000 over three years to support CureSearch’s investment in funding research to find cures – specifically for children’s cancer – and we will keep working until there’s a cure. We know Sabrina benefited from the efforts of those who came before her and invested in research. Now it is our turn. Sabrina is a success story, and we want every kid to be a success story.
Mother of Sabrina
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