September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Join us today, September 10, 2009 as CURE Childhood Cancer honors CURE Kid Isabelle Fussell. Join our fight as CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time! Donate to Isabelle’s Fund.
Isabelle Fussell’s Story:
April 2009 was a busy month! We had planned three busy weekends: Isabelle’s second birthday on the fourth, Easter the weekend after, and a family reunion the weekend after that! Life was good. We were enjoying watching our baby develop into a little girl and begin to talk. Then our life was turned upside down. On April 19th, 2009, the day of the reunion, while bathing Isabelle that evening, I felt a mass in her abdomen. Many thoughts swirled through my head; how could this happen, why didn’t I find it sooner, is my baby going to die? I am a physician assistant for a Urology office and have access to an ultrasound machine. We did an ultrasound that evening and confirmed that she had an 11cm solid mass on her left kidney. It was only two weeks after her second birthday. We went to Atlanta to see a pediatric urologist two days later. After reviewing a CT scan of Isabelle, he reported there were masses on both kidneys, enlarged lymph nodes and a lesion on her lung. That was the worst day of my life. I thought my child would certainly not be able to defeat this cancer. Over the next two weeks she underwent kidney, lymph node, and lung biopsies. The large left kidney tumor was found to be a Wilm’s Tumor. The other lesions in the left kidney were thought to be nephroblastomas, the right tumor was confirmed to be a nephroblastoma, the lymphnodes were benign, and the lung lesion was benign. The histology of the large tumor was found to be anaplastic, which indicates a more aggressive tumor. We were informed Isabelle would need radiation and chemotherapy. She had her first chemotherapy treatment on May 1st. The tumor responded well and shrunk to half its size before she underwent removal of the lower half of her left kidney on June 24th. Her left kidney was atypical in that it had two separate collecting systems. This allowed the surgeon to save the upper pole while removing the lower with the tumor. She completed 11 radiation treatments at the end of July. We should finish chemotherapy around the end of the year. I often wonder how can such a small child handle so much but yet she does, often with enthusiasm and joy! I think some how she understands, maybe because she is aware of her importance in changing all of our lives.
Melissa Fussell (Bruce helped some too)
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 Isabelle’s Fund
Visit us online at www.curechildhoodcancer.org for more information.