At the age of 2, Marina has a joy of life and is, according to her mom, like a little ham.
"She's constantly singing and dancing with her siblings. She's always laughing."
Not long before little Marina was found to have eye cancer, her father lost his leg in an accident. Suddenly the household was making do on a single income.
A referral to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital made all the difference for Marina and her family.
“There's no way I could have afforded treatment otherwise,” said her mom, Janine.
Families, like Marina's, will never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food.
Still, retinoblastoma was a frightening diagnosis. “I was just terrified,” said her mom. “I was afraid for my daughter’s life, and I was afraid for her to be in any kind of pain.”
But despite receiving systemic chemotherapy and chemotherapy injections directly to her right eye, her mom said Marina remained her cheerful, affectionate and playful self with everyone, including her St. Jude care team.
She says, 'They love me. They take care of me.' I said, 'Yes, they do.'
– Janine, Marina's mom, referring to her St. Jude care team
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