Kate is 6 years old – an age when most children are carefree, playing with their friends and not worrying about what tomorrow might bring. But on Monday June 29th, 2009 – a day meant to be filled with summertime fun – everything changed for Kate and her family. A slight tremor in Kate’s hand sent her to be evaluated by her doctor. Diagnosed with a very malignant, aggressive and fast growing brain tumor called a supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumor or sPNET. Kate initially underwent a resection of the tumor, but only 50% of it was able to be removed. She has been undergoing the Head Start 3 Study out of Los Angeles but doing it at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. The study involves the initial brain surgery, 5 rounds of very intense chemotherapy (with possibility of a subsequent brain surgery) and then another round of chemo with a stem cell transplant.
Kate is currently in the stem cell transplant phase of her treatment.
One of the things that has touched my heart about Kate is that she has been so brave despite the painful treatments that have caused her to lose her beautiful hair. Days after undergoing treatment which made Kate very ill, her mother Holly wrote: “The days continue to feel like emotional waves. The day started out good with Kate even telling her Dr that she felt “fabulous”. Not good, fabulous. We will take that any day.”
It is a daily emotional struggle for this family who rely on their strong faith to carry them through the most difficult of days.
I have been following Kate’s progress and her family’s roller coaster journey through this devastating disease for months now. Kate’s spirit is remarkable. She is a beautiful child inside and out whose smile is reflected all the way to her eyes. Like any child, she would like nothing better than to be home playing with her older sister Olivia and younger brother Will. She loves dogs and last year got her own puppy to snuggle. In many, many ways, Kate is like any other six year old out there…except for one big difference: she has a very aggressive cancer and is fighting for her life.
YOU CAN HELP.
Consider joining Reading for a Cure by either participating, or sponsoring a participant, or make a donation to the Pediatric Cancer Foundation (whose mission is to find a cure for childhood cancer). Even though it seems like a small thing to do, it can potentially make a huge difference in a child’s life. Pediatric Cancer research is extremely UNDER FUNDED. Continued research is essential to safe childrens’ lives. We can make a difference…for Kate and children like her.
To read more about Kate and her family, please visit their site at Caring Bridge. Kate’s family asks for your prayers for Kate’s complete recovery.
To join Reading for a Cure, visit this post. During the month of March participants and sponsors in this challenge (as well as one time donors to the Pediatric Cancer Foundation) are also eligible to win books from publishers such as Viking, Unbridled Books, Forge and Harper Collins. See what we have planned on this post.