When Aniya was 3 years old, her mother, Angela, noticed a worrying change. Far from being her usual active and playful self, Aniya was lethargic and in pain.
“All she ever wanted to do was eat a little bit and go to sleep,” recalled Angela. “And she complained of headaches every day.”
Angela took her daughter to the local emergency room where a CT scan revealed a tumor in Aniya’s brain. The next day, they were transported to St. Jude, where we have the largest research-based pediatric brain tumor program in the country, and the world’s best survival rates for some of the most aggressive childhood cancers.
At St. Jude, doctors found Aniya suffered from a rare and dangerous brain tumor known as pineoblastoma. She underwent chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery to remove the tumor. And like all families at St. Jude, Aniya’s family never received a bill for treatment, travel, housing or food — because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.
It really kept me at ease, knowing that I didn’t have to worry about having to pay for anything. It meant a lot to me to be able to focus on Aniya getting better.
“It really kept me at ease, knowing that I didn’t have to worry about having to pay for anything,” said Aniya’s mom. “It meant a lot to me to be able to focus on Aniya getting better.”
Now Aniya is cancer-free and back to being herself. “She’s been going to school, and she’s been mastering everything they have taught her,” said mom, Angela, with pride. “It just keeps a smile on my face every day to know that she feels better.”