Honored Kid

Aubry W.

Aubry W. Kid Photo


Topeka, KS, US


Anaplastic Ependymoma

Date of Diagnosis

August 2006



Treated At

The Children's Mercy Hospital

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My Story

Aubry is always smiling. She is a living example of "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade." Talk about a cup being half full. Aubry's symptoms started with headache and vomiting. She then had an MRI that found her tumor in the front left part of her brain. She had surgery August 14 last summer and then underwent conformal radiation. (Thank you St. Jude's and NASA). Conformal radiation treats the surgical bed and 1 to 2 mm deep thus sparing exposing a lot of brain tissue to radiation. She flew thru those 6 weeks of daily radiation and didn't miss a beat in her dance classes. She earned all A's in school last year despite starting late because of surgery. Every morning, Aubry has a smile on her face and is ready to see what the day has in store for her. Unfortunately, her tumor recurred 9 months after radiation and she undergoing a very aggressive chemotherapy regiment. I imagine these drugs stomping on the tumor cells and grinding them to dust. She plays the flute, takes dance lessons 2 to 3 times a week and plays softball in the summer. She is a pretty wicked center fielder. The cooking channel is one of her favorites, especially the iron chef competitions, and she is an America's Top Model marathoner. Of course we can't forget What Not to Wear!! Aubry fought valiantly to win her battle. She tolerated 4 different courses of chemotherapy after her tumor returned. I had always told her if she lost her hair to her chemo I would shave my head. My head was shaved for an entire year till her hair started to come back. We found out just how cold you can get at night without something on your head. I proudly went to work daily with my shaved head in support of my daughter. Aubry never complained about how the medications made her feel. She bravely and graciously took every medication we could throw at the tumor. Every time we made a medication change the tumor would shrink some, then increase the next time we checked her scan. The last meds we tried gave us the best response. The tumor shrank some then remained stable for about 6 months. In Sept. 2008 we learned that Aubry's tumor had increase and there were no other medications we could use. Aubry's cancer doctor was great. Aubry had 2 goals she wanted to acheive before she lost her battle. She wanted to be in the Washburn University Youth Flute Chior performance in late November as she had just auditioned and been accepted. And she wanted to finish the musical, "Thoroughly Modern Millie", in early November. Her older sister was the lead and Aubry was in the chorus and was tapping her heart out for the show. Her cancer doctor but her on a course of medication that we hoped would slow down the growth of her brain tumor to allow her to complete those events. She was great in Millie with her sister and was able to shine with the other members of the flute chior later that month. The medication she was on slowed down the growth of her tumor enough that she was able to complete her freshman year of high school. Even with all that was going on she smiled every day and made each day count. She helped her classmates in any way she could be it with a smile, a hug, or help with their class work. She had a glow that just didn't seem to dim. With her family at her side, she peacefully passed to the glory of heaven of Oct. 6, 2009. Now her mom has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. My prayer is that I will be as brave and gracious as my daughter, as I tackle the disease and chemotherapy in front of me. However, I refuse to loose my hair to chemo, though I know the drugs will do that. So, I will lose my hair on my terms and still in support of childrens cancer research. I will shave my head before the chemo wins the hairloss battle. I hope to get 9 others to shave their heads with me and more if they want to shave. Aubry's glow will live on always in my heart and now again, for a while on my head. After all it's only hair....it'll grow back!!

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