April 2022 UPDATE: After attending St. Baldrick’s events as an Honored Kid for the past 8 years, Karyn (now 11) will be Braving the Shave this month!
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 glanglioneuroblastoma tumor 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 Karyn 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 12 months. Karyn is 8 yrs old and is in the second grade. We are really blessed that Karyn 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.
Thanks to everyone for your support, and thank you for reading Karyn's story!