Rylee is an outgoing girl who loves gymnastics, especially the uneven bars. Always on the move, she could often be found flipping or cartwheeling in the yard. But in August 2016, Rylee started to complain that her left leg hurt and she soon developed a limp. Weeks passed, and the pain remained. Rylee’s parents took her to the doctor, who ordered an X-ray and an MRI. The results revealed a mass on Rylee’s left femur.
Within days, Rylee was at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where doctors confirmed a diagnosis of osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer. St. Jude has helped push the overall survival rate for childhood cancer from 20% when we first opened our doors in 1962 to 80% today. We won’t stop until no child dies from cancer.
Rylee’s treatment included chemotherapy. She also underwent a limb-salvaging surgery, where eight inches of her femur and the tumor were removed, and replaced with a titanium rod that will be adjusted as Rylee grows.
Rylee describes herself as very curious and wants to be a research nurse when she grows up. After surgery to remove the tumor, she expressed an interest in seeing the tumor, and her doctors arranged for that to happen. “The relationships we’ve developed with her doctors and nurses are wonderful,” said Rylee’s mom, Ginny.
Rylee is now finished with treatment and visits St. Jude for regular scans. She’s artistic and enjoys coloring, drawing and painting.