Voices of Childhood Cancer: Putting Your Kid in Someone Else’s Hands
Written by Rachel Wood, Director of Marketing
Listen to the voices of childhood cancer this month. Every experience is different. These stories of hope and healing start with your compassion and generosity. Your donation helps us reach farther and move faster to develop improved treatments and promising cures for kids with rare cancers. Be childhood cancer aware. Take action. [Presented by Atrium Health Levine Children’s]
- Patient: Magnolia ‘Maggie’, 4 Years Old
- Parents: Houstyn & Bobbie
- Cancer: CNS Neuroblastoma
- Diagnosed: Mass discovered June 2021, Cancer diagnosed July 2021
- Treated at: Atrium Health Levine Children’s
“This girl amazes me, in what shocks and terrifies us, she finds joy in it. She has surprised all the nurses and doctors by how fast her hair has fallen out. She has persistently pulled it out on her own and thinks it is the funniest thing ever. She is so proud to have hair like her daddy now.”
At 4 years old, Maggie’s parents never would have expected that her speech impediment was caused by a tumor on her brain. On the evening of June 22nd, Maggie’s father received panicked messages from his wife to rush home… “Maggie’s having a seizure”. After a call to 911 and transport to their local hospital, a mass was discovered behind Maggie’s left earlobe. She was then airlifted to Atrium Health Levine Children’s ICU. Two days later surgery was performed on her brain to remove the tumor. Fortunately, when the incision was made, the 2 cm mass made itself out without having to make any deeper cuts to dig it out.
Maggie started speaking in clear sentences when she woke up.
Maggie’s tumor was diagnosed in July as CNS neuroblastoma, a rare intracranial tumor. The surgeons were able to remove all of the cancerous tumor from Maggie’s brain, now she fights in hopes to keep the cancer cells from growing back. “All of this was completely new to us, we have never been through anything like this before. It’s hard to put your kid in someone else’s hands.”
Maggie started her first chemotherapy cycle on July 22, 2021. Each cycle is between 5-6 drugs with long inpatient hospital stays. She just finished her 2nd cycle of treatment and is currently recovering in the hospital. With every cycle, she battles severe mouth sores, stomach pain, nausea, irritability, and zero to no immune system.
Although cancer has become an around-the-clock job, Maggie’s parents continue to take one day at a time with their faith, family, and community guiding them through this unknown journey.
Donate Today. Enhance your impact by GIVING MONTHLY. Be part of something ongoing and make a difference… Every. Single. Month. This helps sustain our efforts, long-term… just a little at a time without a financial burden on you.
Photos, videos, and quotes provided by Houstyn and Bobbie, Maggie’s parents
Voices of Childhood Cancer: 9.1: Voices of Childhood Cancer: A September Series to Help Inspire Change