Honored Kid

Alessandra G.

Age 17
Alessandra G. Kid Photo

Location

Burlingame, CA, US

Diagnosis

Brain or spinal cord tumor

Date of Diagnosis

March 2010

Status

Cancer free

Treated At

Children's Hospital Los Angeles University of California, San Francisco Children's Hospital and Research Center Oakland Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center

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My Story

Alessandra is a little girl who happens to have down syndrome, Grave's disease and was just recently diagnosed with brain cancer - but none of that holds her back. She's got an amazing amount of energy for life and takes on every new obstacle with the stubbornness and tenacity she is known for. Her strength during these very stressful months has helped the rest of her family get through this. When Alessandra was diagnosed with three non germinoma germ cell tumors in her brain in March 2010 - it was surreal. Alessandra finished all 5 rounds of chemo and took them like a champ. After only two rounds, an MRI showed that her tumors had melted away. Suddenly, her speech improved and she made a huge jump in her cognitive abilities. During all of this time, she has barely been sick and has been stronger and braver than we could have ever imagined. Alessandra's tumors would stay away with chemo alone. Doctors said that she needed radiation to cure them or they will come back but they cannot tell us how radiation will effect the brain of a child with downs. There has been no research in this area to guide us. We agreed to a lower dose of radiation (27gy) and went to Mass General to receive proton radiation for 6 weeks. Again, she took her treatment in stride and instead of being what could have been the worst time our lives, we had an amazing experience in Boston and spent the 6 weeks getting closer as a family. Alessandra finished her radiation on December 10th and we came home to celebrate Christmas! As of March 2nd, 2011, Alessandra is considered to be in remission since her MRI showed no evidence of disease. Update - February 2012 Alessandra has been cancer free for almost a year and a half now. We are so happy to have her with us and she is doing fantastic. She started the second grade and loves her new school. Thank you to everyone who supported us and for all of you who donate to St. Baldrick's!

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