Natalie appears in a St. Jude commercial, with her mother recounting her daughter's St. Jude story.
Natalie, the youngest of five, seemed like a perfectly healthy toddler. But one day, she stopped using her left arm. Her parents were expecting a call back from the pediatric orthopedist when Natalie took a tumble directly onto that arm and was inconsolable.
“When they admitted us to the hospital that night, we actually thought that we were doing some bone scans to check for mineral deficiency,” said her mom, Nicole. “Cancer was never on our radar.”
Yet cancer was all throughout Natalie’s body: both arms, both wrists, her pelvis, legs, spine, skull and bone marrow. She had neuroblastoma, a cancer arising from nerve cells, and it was high-risk and Stage IV.
Families, like Natalie's, will never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food — so they can focus on helping their child live.
At St. Jude, Natalie has received chemotherapy, antibody therapy, surgery, two stem cell transplants using her own cells and radiation therapy.
“It’s a hard, painful treatment,” said her dad, Andrew.
Natalie’s recent scans indicate she needs still more treatment before she can be declared cancer free.
Natalie continues to grow into an active, outgoing and opinionated little girl.
"She has a huge personality. She will walk down the halls of St. Jude ahead of her wagon. She will wave her little finger in your face with a lot of sass. She will tell you how she feels. And nothing will get in her way,” said Nicole.
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