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Belle was found to suffer from choroid plexus carcinoma, a rare brain tumor, in September 2009.
In the summer of 2009, Belle's mother noticed her little girl's hand trembling. Soon, Belle became lethargic, and her left leg grew weak. Her mother made an appointment with a neurologist, who ordered an MRI.
The test revealed crushing news: Belle had a brain tumor. "I was shocked," said Belle's mom. "I was crying and thinking, 'she's not going to survive this.'" Belle underwent surgery to remove the tumor, but further tests revealed the cancer had already spread to little Belle's spine.
Seeking options for Belle's long-term care, her father e-mailed St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The family was surprised when, within a few hours of the e-mail, someone from the hospital called him back. "Choroid plexus carcinoma was not a foreign term to St. Jude. They could come up with a plan," said her mom. The family obtained a referral and soon arrived at St. Jude.
Belle received six months of chemotherapy in Memphis, Tennessee, followed by six months of chemotherapy at home.
Belle's mother is grateful for the comfort that Belle's care team has provided. "You feel very secure at St. Jude. You feel very safe," she said. "If I have a question or Belle has a fever or just anything, I can pick up the phone in the middle of the night and I'll be talking on the phone with the doctor within minutes. You know that the medical staff here knows what's going on with your child and they know what to do."
Belle has responded well to treatment and returns to St. Jude for regular checkups. Belle is an inquisitive little girl who likes to play with her siblings. When she grows up, Belle has decided she wants to be a doctor.
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