Mikayla is an artistic girl. She loves theater, drawing, coloring and singing in choir. For several weeks in late 2016, Mikayla felt unwell. She was in and out of the doctor’s office, but no one could pinpoint anything wrong.
Then, in January, Mikayla was sick whenever she ate and it hurt to open her eyes. Her parents, Kathy and Michael, rushed her to the local emergency room, where tests revealed Mikayla had a cancerous brain tumor called a medulloblastoma. After she underwent surgery to remove the tumor, Mikayla was referred to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to more than 80% since it opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude is working to drive the overall survival rate for childhood cancer to 90%, and we won’t stop until no child dies from cancer.
Mikayla’s treatment included four rounds of chemotherapy and 30 rounds of proton therapy. St. Jude means everything to us,” Kathy said. “They saved our daughter’s life. The support we had was so comforting. Mikayla developed strong bonds with her care team.”
Mikayla is now finished with treatment and returns to St. Jude for regular checkups. She’s in fifth grade and loves to read and play games on her tablet. She’s also a travel buff and especially loves traveling with her dad.