Voices of Childhood Cancer: It’s Not Just Hair

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:  Rosse, 16 years old
  • Cancer:  Malignant Mixed Germ Cell Tumor
  • Diagnosed: June 2020
  • Treated at:  Atrium Health Levine Children’s

It’s heartbreaking because on top of having and battling cancer, now you lose your hair and it feels like adding insult to injury.  And to so many like this teen cancer survivor, it’s not just hair…

“Once I started chemo I felt like I would never be the same.  As it took my hair, I felt it stripped my identity with it.  One of the biggest challenges for me is that I don’t feel like myself and that the old me is permanently gone. I struggle with being confident with my scars and being confident with my short hair too.  Especially at school.”

In June 2020 Rosse was diagnosed with a malignant mixed germ cell tumor at 15 years old.  After the feeling of being full from a family dinner and severe pain in her stomach, the tumor was found on her left ovary as well as small spots on her liver.  Rosse completed chemo treatments and had surgery to remove her left ovary. She has a large scar from the bottom of her chest down to her pelvis.

Rosse conquered cancer last year, and is working on building up her self-confidence again!  She started her Junior year of high school, was able to have her big sweet 16 party, and started a job at Panera Bread.  Rosse is busy living life as a teen again.

Germ cell tumors can occur anywhere in the body, they arise from cells that would become ovaries or testicles.

Rosse was featured during our 2020 September series as she shared what it was like to be a 15-year old teen with cancer.  Learn more about Rosse’s cancer battle here.

Donate today. Enhance your impact by GIVING MONTHLY. Be part of something ongoing and make a difference… Every. Single. Month.


9.1: Voices of Childhood Cancer: A September Series to Help Inspire Change

9.2: Voices of Childhood Cancer:  Putting Your Kid in Someone Else’s Hands (Maggie)

9.7:  Voices of Childhood Cancer:  Learning to Live in the Moment (Jennifer)

9.10:  Voices of Childhood Cancer: The Power of Positive Thinking (Judd)

9.12: Voices of Childhood Cancer: Just to be a Kid Again (Brooklyn)