Honored Kid

Danica T.

Age 5
Danica T. Kid Photo

Location

Skagway, AK, US

Diagnosis

Brain or spinal cord tumor

Date of Diagnosis

November 2017

Status

No evidence of disease

Treated At

Seattle Children's Hospital

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My Story

Last Thanksgiving, Danica was diagnosed with Atypical Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumor (AT/RT) at the tender age of 21 months. Her golf ball-sized tumor was immediately resected in full, and she began six months of chemo. Halfway through her treatment, a suspicious spot showed up on an MRI. Instead of doing another morbid brain surgery, she became the first child with a high grade tumor that Seattle Children’s had ever attempted to treat with laser ablation (a minimally invasive surgery performed with a drill and laser under the guidance of an MRI). She was out of the hospital the next day, and pathology reports showed the tissue was only scar tissue from her previous surgery. It was such a success that we really hope other eligible patients (with tiny pieces of tissue that cannot be allowed to remain) will also be able to be treated with this type of minimally invasive approach. She finished all six rounds of chemo, and chased it with 30 rounds of proton radiation. It had to be treated with the most aggressive treatments available, because if she were to relapse, there are no protocols for her. There were many sleepless nights in the cancer care unit for her parents, and a great deal of pain and suffering for her, but her joy and zeal for life never waned, and always buoyed her up—and everyone around her. She is No Evidence of Disease, and hopefully always will be.

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