September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Join us today, September 27, 2009 as CURE Childhood Cancer honors CURE Kid Amanda Riley. Join our fight as CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time! Donate to Amanda’s Fund.
Amanda Riley’s Story:
She is the girl with the beautiful contagious smile with a vibrant, outgoing personality. She is a fiercely competitive three-sport varsity letter athlete with a passion for running and a tremendous love for the game of basketball. She gives 100% to everything she does. She is a planner and knows what she wants to do with her life and refuses to accept “no” for an answer. She has great faith and trust that God will take care of her. She is strong willed and by far the toughest person we know. She is our 16-year-old daughter, Amanda, and she has cancer.
On March 1, 2009, Amanda woke up in a panic because she was unable to empty her bladder. She had been having back and leg muscle spasms for several weeks and was up most of the night in pain. We went to the emergency room and the end result was that her MRI showed abnormalities. The following week she saw several specialists and had numerous tests run. On Friday, March 6th, we were given the news no parent should ever have to hear. Our daughter had a tumor in the bladder/pelvic area and it had metastasized to the lungs and bones. Naturally, we were devastated and in shock.
The following Monday we met with Dr Louis Rapkin, an Oncologist at CHOA. He suspected she had a Rhabdomyosarcoma. We discussed a treatment plan of 14 rounds of chemo, 30 rounds of radiation and possibly surgery. She entered the hospital on March 6 for a biopsy and port placement and the diagnosis was confirmed. She spent 18 of the next 22 days there and had a catheter for 7 weeks. She continued to be in constant pain and was practically bed ridden for 3 months. Our beautiful daughter known for her infectious smile was almost broken.
Finally after almost 3 months and 4 rounds of chemo, she turned the corner. Her spasms are gone and her 22 prescriptions are down to 3. At times she does not feel well because of chemo treatments but at least she is pain free.
Amanda was rescanned and on July 1st, – 4 months to the day that she initially went to the emergency room, we were given the most incredible news. The tumor in her bladder has shrunk significantly, the metastases in the lungs appear to have “melted away” and the bones are healing. Needless to say, we were ecstatic and relieved. She still has a long way to go but we are optimistic that all she is going through is worthwhile.
These days Amanda is trying to get on with her life. She has a new car, got her license and is looking forward to going back to school. We know it will be awhile before she runs another race or plays in a basketball game but that is okay. Right now the only thing that matters is that we have our Amanda back. She is again the girl with the beautiful contagious smile and the vibrant outgoing personality that we so love.
Steve, Barbara & Brittany Riley
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 Amanda’s Fund
Visit us online at www.curechildhoodcancer.org for more information.