Six days after her 7th birthday, my beautiful niece Ava was tragically diagnosed with a highly aggressive form of osteosarcoma to her right femur. That diagnoses shattered our hearts; no child should ever have to suffer from cancer. As a cancer nurse, I am only too familiar with the excruciating struggles that she will face.
The moment Ava was born, our family’s lives were filled with so much joy. Her presence brought our family closer together than ever before and we all deeply love her. I do not have children of my own, but it is through Ava that I really began to understand unconditional love.
Since February 2017, she was intermittently complaining of pain in her right leg. She was taken to her primary care doctor and an urgent care visit; a knee x-ray was done and nothing was found. Both doctors said her pain was due to “growing pains” and the way she was walking. However, her pain worsened and she saw an orthopedic doctor who decided to take an X-ray of her thigh instead. That x-ray changed everything; from that moment, every week has been a new procedure. MRI, bone biopsy, lab draws, and more scans. You can only imagine how frightened this little girl is in lieu of all these things happening to her. One of her questions this past week was, “What is radiation?” Her pain is getting worse in her right thigh as the tumor grows and pushes on her nerves, muscle and bone. Of course this affects her daily activities that she can barely walk. A child unable to play is not a happy child at all.
The Child Life Specialists from Texas Children’s Hospital do great job at helping her explain her condition. Before all these events happened, Ava wanted to become an artist. She loves to draw, paint, sing and do ballet. However, her hobbies and school will have to be put on hold for a long series of chemotherapy, surgery to remove the femur, and more chemotherapy. The doctors will try to save her leg and place a magnetic rod that can grow as she grows in place of her femur.
Today she will undergo surgery to place a Port-a-cath to receive chemotherapy and a lung biopsy as her CT scan showed 4 “spots” in her chest.
As her aunt, I am reaching out for any help we can give her to help save her young life. She has so much ahead of her in the future and will go through multiple medical visits, surgeries, and chemotherapy. We greatly appreciate any amount in helping her fight cancer.
I am withdrawing funds under my name, Cheryl Mantaring, to give to my sister, Kristine, to help start paying off my niece Ava's medical bills by check. With no doubt at all, 100% of ALL donations go to her treatments and medical bills. Just to note, the withdrawals do not count against our listed goal.
Thank you for your time for reading this cause and we hope our little Ava will do well to fight against cancer.
- Xavier Argenti
- Herb VanHook
- Jessica Garza
- Derek Ross
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