Honored Kid

Heather Serafin

Heather Serafin Kid Photo

Location

Valparaiso, IN, US

Diagnosis

Brain or spinal cord tumor

Date of Diagnosis

October 2013

Status

Angel

Treated At

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital

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My Story

...AND JUST LIKE THAT OUR LIVES WERE CHANGED FOREVER Heather was truly an extraordinary child, devoted to her faith. She enjoyed P90X and Insanity work out DVD’s and she loved Walt Disney World. Last July her and her father completed a 3 mile Mudathalon in Valparaiso. That's her in the picture wearing the big smile and the finisher medal. In September 2013 Heather started complaining of headaches and double vision. Heather never complained about anything. After several visits to the eye doctor we were told she needed an MRI. On October 28, 2013 that MRI turned into the words no parent wants to hear, “Mr. and Mrs. Serafin, Heather has Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma DIPG, an inoperable brain stem tumor. Heather has 3 months to live if you choose to do nothing. Approximately 9 months if you choose radiation. There are clinical studies…” Those words still echo in my head today. Since that day Heather went through a lot; more than any child should ever have to endure. 33 rounds of radiation paired with chemotherapy twice a day. We used natural supplementation to strengthen her body and we saw miraculous things happen for her such as a 45% reduction in the length of the tumor and 26% reduction in the width of the tumor along with NO BRAIN SWELLING! During this first phase of the clinical study she tried to do her school work and her work out routine but there had to be a great deal of modification because of the changes taking place in her body. This type of cancerous brain tumor affects your motor skills and the current treatments wreck havoc on your body. The school work was more than trying because the tumor had caused her to start seeing double all of the time, you can imagine how tough that is. Part two of the clinical study included two types of chemotherapy and was much harder on her body. For one week per month, on a daily basis, she took the trial chemo in the morning and then in the evening she took the trial chemo and TMZ. This combination proved to be too much for her platelets and she had to stop the clinical study. I think at this point most people would panic and fall into fear but we were and remain a faithful family. Heather was an inspiration to all around her. Her faith, courage, and overcoming attitude blessed many lives around her. Heather became an angel on October 25th, 2015, after a valiant and courageous 2 year battle with DIPG.

The Childhood Cancer Ripple Effect

Who's Honoring Me

Help kids take childhood back from cancer — support lifesaving cancer research today.

Children who are fighting or have fought cancer inspire others to be part of the Foundation's mission — to support the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long and healthy lives.

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