On the day before Father’s Day 2016, Millie and her dad were playing together when he noticed a lump on her side. At first, doctors thought it might be a bowel obstruction, but a CT scan showed it to be Wilms tumor: kidney cancer.
When their local children’s hospital discovered a spot on her lung as well, Millie’s pediatrician referred her 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.
“I felt like we cried every single day we were at that other hospital,” said her mom. “Once we got here, everything kind of fell into place.”
At St. Jude, Millie underwent multiple surgeries, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Millie’s mom says the best thing about St. Jude is how kid friendly it is.
I don’t have to worry about her being unhappy while we’re here. She’s always happy. You think if you’re in a hospital full of cancer patients, then it’s all gloomy, but it’s not. Kids run around the hallways laughing and smiling.
St. Jude patient Millie enjoys the festivities with volunteers during a visit to St. Jude.