Our daughter, Emery Ilene, had just celebrated her 2nd birthday when we were blindsided with every parents worst nightmare.
Not just cancer but stage 4 high risk Neuroblastoma.
Most people do not know that Neuroblastoma is the most common solid tumor in children under the age of five. And that in most cases is has already metastasized by the time it is diagnosed. We definitely didn’t. First off, it is not a brain cancer even though it can spread to the brain. Neuroblastoma is where cancer cells form in nerve tissue, like the adrenal gland, spinal chord and neck.
At diagnosis, Emery had tumors in her adrenal gland, spinal chord and skull. It had also already spread everywhere. Her bones and bone marrow were just covered in disease.
It is still considered a “rare” cancer and that is partly why the funding for it just isn’t there. But it definitely doesn’t seem as rare as many would think.
Emery fought harder than any two year old should ever have to with more bravery and courage than most adults. Her smile lit up the room and all who knew her were inspired by her ability to handle everything that was thrown at her and still smile.