Team Ava Kate
Ava Kate’s Journey
On September 11, 2012 I went to bed with a healthy child and woke up on September 12 to hear the words no parent ever wants to hear “I think it’s a Wilm’s tumor a form of CANCER.” In that very minute our lives changed forever. We had made plans to celebrate her 3rd birthday, instead she endured more tests and we listened to treatment plans, statistics, prescriptions, terminology I never thought I would understand, no playing on playgrounds, jumping on trampolines, riding bicycles, the list just kept going.
After 36 weeks of treatment and a kidney resection; we reached the 6-month ALL CLEAR milestone.Then on December 12, 2013 we found out that she had a brain tumor. This was her second primary cancer (an Ependymoma) not at all related to the Wilm’s tumor. After complete resection on December 16, 2013 and 30 more radiation treatments, she was cancer free.
On March the 8, 2014 we finished radiation and began a 3-month follow-up scan. We moved to 6 months scans and for 2 years we had clear scans. But on July 7, 2016, we heard that word again. I can honestly tell you that I never felt anxious before her scans and this completely knocked me down on the inside. With the great sadness and elephant larger than life in the room, I looked at her doctor and told him not to worry God was already at work and Ava Kate would be fine. I believed with all my heart and soul this was nothing but it was something... a reoccurring Ependymoma.
His plan is far greater than I can ever imagine. (I have to remind myself of that quite often). On August 2, 2016 I gave a healthy thriving gymnastic driven little girl to a team of doctors to perform her second brain surgery. After 8 grueling hours, when we finally got to the PICU, that same little girl spoke with a whisper, couldn’t swallow, couldn’t walk or raise her arm above her head. As you read her story, after 30 more rounds of radiation, more chemotherapy, lots of physical therapy, occupational therapy, and nutritional changes; today, she is walking on her own, able to speak more clearly and eating what she wants (if it’s healthy ). While we still have a long road ahead of us He takes every step before us and with us. On June 28, 2017 she has been blessed with clear scans. She started school in August just like every other student. Every day is a blessing!
Please help us honor Ava Kate and so many more cancer warriors that have battled or are still battling this indescribable disease.