Natalie was originally diagnosed with brain cancer in December 2020 when she was just 3 years old.
Natalie had started limping on her right leg seemingly out of nowhere. Worried, her parents, Patrick and Sarah, took her to the doctor and this led to a long few weeks being bounced from one doctor to another before a neurologist urgently pushed for an MRI and a large mass was found on the left side of her brain.
Natalie underwent a successful surgery which removed the whole visible tumor and shortly after received her official diagnosis - Anaplastic Ependymoma Grade III. An aggressive brain cancer with a high chance of relapse.
Natalie immediately underwent 33 sessions of sedated Proton Beam Radiation in an attempt to kill any remaining cancer cells.
After Natalie ended treatment in March 2021 she had quarterly scans to continue to monitor for any signs that the tumor might be growing back.
In December 2021 Natalie scan was clear. 3 months later in March 2022 her scan showed Natalie’s cancer had returned. A large mass on the left side of her brain.
Natalie has just had a second surgery to remove the tumor but the next steps will depend on seeking out multiple opinions from different institutions as there is no standard of care for relapse of Ependymoma. It will likely involve a combination of re-irradiation and chemo.
While the road to a cure may not seem clear at the moment, what we can count on is Natalie’s resilient spirit. She simply uplifts all those who meet her, leaving a lasting impression wherever she goes. She loves those around her purely and fiercely and never, ever fails to make us smile.
Let us stand with Natalie and her family and help in any way we can!
Any donations made will go towards groceries, meals, rent, bills and anything Natalie and her family need for her to get through treatment for a second time.
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