Julia is a loving little girl who enjoys playing with her friends, ballet, art, animals, and anything her big brother is doing. She was diagnosed with anaplastic nephroblastoma (Wilms' tumor) on March 25, 2009 after a routine ultrasound. Our world completely changed in the span of an hour as we left our pediatricians office and were admitted to a pediatric oncology unit. Julia had surgery two days later to remove the tumor, her kidney, adrenal gland, lymph nodes, and half her urinary tract. They also put a portacath in her chest for sedated radiation therapy and 27 weeks of 3 drug chemo. She lost her sweet curls 7 weeks into chemo.
We are so blessed to be treated at Brenners' Hospital. The staff are angels on earth and we will be forever grateful for their love, wisdom, and care. Julia has handled this journey with tremendous grace and maturity. We are so proud of her. She continues to be scanned every 3 months to check for any tumor growth. We are thrilled to say she is currently NED. Sadly she is also one of the 60% of survivors with long term side effects. The treatments that saved her life also damaged her colon leaving her with a life of surgeries, procedures, medicine, and pain. She also suffers from PTSD and has been in counseling for 2 years. The burden is even heavier as we continue to say goodbye and bury the children who have fought alongside her.
We will never stop fighting for new and safer treatments. Our children cannot fight cancer alone!
Follow her story at www.littlepapiandpunkin.blogspot.com