Karyn Pearl or Guu as we call her has always been a really friendly baby from the day she was born. Everywhere we go she likes to wave Hi to people who look at her. To her, going down an aisle at Wal-Mart is like being the queen of the parade; everyone gets smiles and waves. Karyn started walking about a month ago and everything has change. Our cats, Royal and Emma, can not get away from her anymore. She loves to chase them around the house, she thinks it hilarious - they don't. Karyn loves Elmo!!!!! She will stop whatever she is doing whenever she hears his voice. Elmo was her second spoken word right after Mamma (sorry Daddy).
Karyn first showed signs of sickness when she was six months old once she started to eat more solid foods. She began with diarrhea and after three weeks of multiple visits with the pediatrician and a number of changes to her diet, she had some lab work done. The labs discovered that Karyn's electrolytes were so unbalanced that she was admitted to UC Davis that same day. After a couple of days of attempting to regulate her electrolytes with no positive results her pediatrician ordered an ultrasound where a tumor was found on her left kidney. Karyn’s pediatrician and oncologist decided that she would get the best treatment at UC San Francisco where she was then transferred. After numerous tests and still unable to regulate Karyn’s electrolytes and diarrhea, the oncologist decided that it was best to remove her kidney and a few lymph nodes. We were blessed that Karyn had an uneventful recovery. However, for the next several weeks, we waited anxiously for the test results to see what type of tumor she had. Karyn was diagnosed with a stage two glangliosarcoma, which is a rare type of a neuroblastoma that is only seen in 1% of kids diagnose with neuroblastoma; even rarer that it appeared in her kidney. Even though Guu was in the hospital for a while, you couldn’t tell that she was sick, she was always a happy baby willing to wave and smile to everyone that went by. During her last couple of days at UCSF, Karyn had multiple tests to check for any signs of cancer cells, thank goodness none where found. Karyn continues to be seen at UCSF for check-ups, ultrasounds, and blood work every 3 months. After her next visit, Guu will have check-ups every 6 months for a year and then every year after that until she is 10 years old.
Guu is now 15 months old, she is still the same happy baby. She is walking, and running now and is still the queen of the parade waving and smiling at everyone as she walks by, even at the hospital. She is starting to talk and now says Daddy. We are really blessed that Guu did not need to be on medication or a special diet after her surgery. Karyn's doctors are the best and we are honored to have her under their care. We still have a long road ahead, but we are a strong family with a lot of support from friends and family.
Thanks to everyone for your support, and thank you for reading Guu's story!