13 Years Old at Diagnosis
Yasmine began experiencing pain in her left leg in May of 2014. In August of 2014, after hurting the leg in a fall, the swelling was so extreme she went to the emergency room. At the hospital, an ultrasound revealed a tumor, and within the week Yasmine was on her way to Riley’s Hospital for Children in Indianapolis – three hours away from home. A biopsy confirmed the cancer was osteosarcoma, and she was scheduled to begin chemotherapy a week later.
Yasmine’s parents became concerned with how she would manage her treatments while in school. Her last year in middle school would begin at the same time she was scheduled to start chemotherapy. Yasmine’s mother visited her school and was relieved to find that through a “504 Plan,” mandated by the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the school was able to accommodate her educational needs during her treatment. Throughout the eight months of chemotherapy and numerous surgeries, she only attended nine days of school, but managed to keep up with her schoolwork thanks to the flexibility provided by her school.
Chemotherapy was exceptionally hard on Yasmine. Her treatment plan was sidetracked several times due to complications. In November, near the end of her first three rounds of chemo, a scan showed spots of cancer on her lungs. Surgeries were scheduled to remove the tumor in her leg and the small masses in her lungs. The first surgery removed the tumor and replaced much of her leg and knee with metal implants. A week later, she underwent another surgery to remove the masses in her lungs. Six months after her surgeries, she developed several complications including a blood infection that sent her to the ICU. Yasmine’s metal implants had to be removed in order to effectively eliminate the infection.
Yasmine has been in and out of physical therapy sessions. During the toughest times, she has often been frustrated. Before her diagnosis she was an active, outgoing person who loved sports and the outdoors. She resented being restricted to bed and a wheelchair. However, through it all, her family fought to keep Yasmine smiling.
In May of 2015, a CT scan showed no sign of nodules and Yasmine was in remission. In June, almost 10 months after diagnosis, she completed her final rounds of chemotherapy. On August 5, 2015, almost a full year after diagnosis, Yasmine had her leg hardware replaced. She will start physical therapy again in September, and even though she knows from experience how tough PT can be, she is excited about doing things for herself again, going back to school, and reconnecting with friends.
Throughout their cancer journey, the Elmardi family has fully embraced CureSearch and its mission to drive innovative treatments for children’s cancer. Yasmine and her family have agreed to have all tissues and information related to her illness available for research to help find cures.
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