September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Join us today, September 6, 2009 as CURE Childhood Cancer honors CURE Kid Arianna White. Join our fight as CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time! Donate to Arianna’s Fund.
Arianna White’s Story:
Arianna White is a sweet, spirited child who is very compliant and delights in the joys of those around her. She is very tenderhearted and is always the peacemaker with her peers. She loves her little brother Addison dearly. Most importantly Arianna has a deep love for God and loves to sing about Him every chance she gets. She makes up praise songs to comfort herself and unknowingly comforts those around her. Before her illness, Arianna enjoyed playing softball, cheering, taking dance, tennis lessons, swimming, and every church activity offered to her. She made straight A’s in school. She was chosen by her teachers as student of the quarter the first time she was eligible, the first quarter of first grade. Her first grade teacher gave her the “happy spirit award” because she said Arianna was always happy no matter what happened. She had started having headaches and other symptoms that year but was not diagnosed until the following Fall.
On August 17, 2006 at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Egleston (about a month after her 7th birthday) we found out that Arianna had a mass on her brain. The next day she had brain surgery to take a biopsy and also relieve the massive amount of fluid that had built up in her skull putting tremendous pressure on her brain. Her family waited for five long days to get the results of the biopsy. They were informed that she had a fibrillary astrocytoma that is inoperable because it is in the center of the brain (thalamus region). After a week in intensive care, she had another surgery to place a shunt in her head and a port in her chest. She started chemotherapy on September 11, 2006. For the following year Arianna endured two different chemotherapy protocols to attempt to stop the growth of the tumor. In October of 2007 her parents were given the heartbreaking news that her tumor was continuing to grow despite the attempts to stop it. One more chemotherapy protocol was administered. In February of 2008 it was determined that this protocol was not working. The next step would be to use radiation. Radiation to the brain of a child, especially where this tumor is located, can cause irreparable damage with permanent dysfunction.
In the spring of 2008 Arianna received six weeks of radiation. During radiation and since that time she has shown great improvement. All of her follow up tests have shown no signs of damage at this point. (Arainna remains very bright but does have some issues with speed and organization.) Although it is still very large, the tumor has shrunk significantly. Her over all health has improved, and she is once again a full time student. Despite some side effects from treatments and the effects of the tumor, she is able to do well in school (with some adjustments) and participate in extra curricular activities. She is a cheerleader once again, and has started participating in band. She sings in choir at church, and plays softball in the spring. She still has her sweet happy spirit and blesses so many people daily. She is still a child with cancer, but her life now is more normal than it has been in three years. She is not “out of the woods” and realistically will never be. Once a cancer patient, always a cancer patient. She still needs the miracle cure, THE cure for cancer.
About September & CURE’S Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time:
September is recognized as National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. This September, CURE Childhood Cancer has committed to raising awareness and raising money to help find a cure for childhood cancer in our lifetime and put an end to this terrible disease through a special program CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time!
Please help us in our goal of raising $30,000 in the month of September while honoring special CURE kids each day of the month who have been affected by childhood cancer.
For more information, please click here.
About CURE Childhood Cancer:
Founded in 1975, CURE Childhood Cancer is dedicated to conquering childhood cancer through research, education and support of patients and their families. Since its establishment as a grass-roots organization, CURE has focused its efforts on improving the care, quality of life, and survival rate of children with cancer.
The founders, parents and a dedicated pediatric oncologist, joined forces to support laboratory research that would translate into immediate care for children with cancer.
Since that time, CURE has raised millions of dollars to fund cutting edge research at the Aflac Cancer Center Blood Disorders Service at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory University School of Medicine.
Through innovative programming, CURE also provides support for stricken families, providing them comfort and support during their time of devastating need.
Donate to Arianna’s Fund
Visit us online at www.curechildhoodcancer.org for more information.