When Bella was a year old, she began to experience neck pain and stiffness, and she kept her neck tilted to one side. An MRI at a hospital near the family’s home in India revealed a mass on Bella’s brain. Devastated, her parents turned to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, full of fear for their daughter’s future. Shortly after arriving at St. Jude, doctors determined the tumor was an anaplastic ependymoma.
Bella’s treatment included chemotherapy and proton therapy.
“At St. Jude, they are not just thinking of your child’s treatment, they are thinking about what families go through,” said Amit, Bella’s dad. “St. Jude has thought about the issues families face, and you don’t have to worry about anything, you just focus on your child.” Bella is now finished with treatment.
For several weeks, Sascha had complained about headaches, but it was the start of a new school year, so it was easy to chalk it up to stress and adjusting to a new routine. When Sascha began having double-vision, her parents took her to the doctor, where they learned she had a cancerous brain tumor called a medulloblastoma.
After surgery to remove the tumor, Sascha was referred to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
“We knew St. Jude was truly the best place for Sascha to receive treatment,” said her dad.
Sascha’s treatment included proton therapy and chemotherapy. She also received physical therapy, including yoga, as part of her treatment. Sascha now visits St. Jude for regular checkups. She loves unicorns and making arts and crafts.
In February 2018, Abraham’s right eye turned inward. He also started having headaches in the morning and would sometimes throw up. Even watching TV made the little boy’s head hurt.
A CT scan finally revealed the cause of Abraham’s issues: He had a mass on his brain, identified as a cancerous brain tumor called a medulloblastoma.
“It was just terrifying,” said his mom. “It broke my heart and made me so scared for him.” At St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Abraham’s treatment included high-dose radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
Abraham, who is finished with treatment, returns to St. Jude for regular checkups. He loves playing outside and coloring with his dad. “We’re just so thankful for St. Jude,” his mom said.
When Quincy couldn’t shake his stomach trouble, his pediatrician had a feeling something more than a virus might be the cause.
Scans showed Quincy had a tumor on his right kidney – a type of cancer called Wilms tumor. He was referred immediately to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for treatment.
“It’s definitely a whole other world inside these doors,” said Quincy’s mom. “You get a sense that everybody is here fighting the same fight. Everybody has the same goal, and everybody wants the best for the kids.”
Quincy’s treatment included surgery to remove the affected kidney and chemotherapy. He had his last dose of chemotherapy in August 2018 and now visits St. Jude for checkups. Quincy is a wildly imaginative, smart and caring boy.
Mikey was 2 months old when his mother, Liliana, noticed a glare in his eyes in photographs. Just three months later, tests revealed Mikey had retinoblastoma, a type of eye cancer.
There were tumors in both of his eyes. Doctors in Mexico recommended his eyes be removed. Liliana, desperate to save her son’s vision, obtained a referral to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Soon after arriving at St. Jude, Liliana found hope: St. Jude doctors believed they could save her son’s eyes. Mikey’s treatment included a combination of chemotherapy, laser treatment and cryotherapy.
He also received physical, occupational and speech therapies, which helped keep him on track to meet his milestones. Mikey, a playful, happy boy, is finished with treatment and has vision in both eyes.
Shortly after Jameson was born, tests revealed he suffered from sickle cell disease, which is a group of inherited blood disorders that prevent the normal flow of blood in the body.
At St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Jameson's treatment includes hydroxyurea.
Jameson's family was already familiar with St. Jude, as two of his older siblings also have sickle cell disease and are St. Jude patients. “I’m so thankful for St. Jude,” said the children’s mom, Demetrius.
“The doctors and nurses are so helpful, and everyone treats us like family.” Jameson is a mischievous, cheerful boy who loves Paw Patrol.
When Raeleigh was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, her family turned to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Raeleigh’ s treatment will include two-and-a-half years of chemotherapy and so far, she is handling it like a champ. “She's basically your normal child,” said her mom, “no side effects, no nausea, no throwing up.” Raeleigh, who loves clothes and dressing up, is described by her parents as smart, independent and bossy.
At St. Jude, her favorite thing is playing in the playrooms. Her parents love the environment and how caring everyone is. “They go a step beyond to make sure you’re comfortable and that Raeleigh is doing well,” said her mom.