As a kindergartener, Adalyn was having stomachaches that came and went but didn’t slow her down. But then she started having episodes of severe pain. In January 2022, during one of these, her mother took her to the emergency room where doctors found a large mass above her right kidney.
“We went in thinking it was constipation, and came out finding out she had cancer,” said her mom. “We did not know anything about neuroblastoma. We’d never heard of it. That was a new word for us,” said Adalyn’s dad. And Adalyn’s neuroblastoma was classed as high-risk and stage 4. It was a deeply scary time.
After surgery to remove the tumor at a hospital near home, Adalyn was referred to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Both her grandmothers had supported St. Jude for decades as monthly donors and saw the referral as a sign of hope.
Adalyn’s dad draws a parallel between the culture at St. Jude and their own small town, where people are friendly and eager to help. He also appreciates the way his daughter’s care team communicates with each other.
Families, like Adalyn's, will never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food — so they can focus on helping their child live.
At St. Jude, Adalyn’s treatment has included chemotherapy, two stem cell transplants, proton therapy and antibody therapy, and will last about 18 months.
Adalyn, the only girl in the family, lights up when talking about her brothers and her cousin. She loves playing tag and hide and seek, and arts and crafts.
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