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The fact that my daughter wasn't a star athlete may have saved her life. Oh sure, she played soccer and volleyball in grade school and excelled in gym class, but Maeve never "toughed out" an injury for the sake of her team or to get to the next level of competition.
So, when she developed a slight limp the summer before her sophomore year of high school, we only tried resting it and giving her ibuprofen for a few weeks before an x-ray by her alert doctor lead us to the terrible truth. Maeve had osteosarcoma in her fibula.
Fortunately, we caught it before it had a chance to spread to her lungs. During treatment we met several other kids who had lived with their pain for much longer and allowed their tumors to get much bigger-- mostly because no one imagined that an achy leg in a teenager could mean a life-threatening illness. It's a rare cancer and when our doctor told us what he suspected, I almost wanted to laugh. The possibility of my beautiful, bright, healthy-looking daughter having cancer seemed absurd. I wasn't laughing when I learned that despite her early diagnosis, her survival was not assured and the drugs that would be used to treat her were the same ones that had been used with limited success for decades.
Almost two years after diagnosis, 18 rounds of in-patient chemotherapy, difficult limb-salvage surgery, a few extra hospitalizations, lots of physical therapy and deep emotional, physical and financial bruises, we look brightly toward the future. Still, we live with the reality of extensive scans every three months and a nagging worry about the toxic treatments Maeve received.
Amy Williamson(Maeve's mom)Chicago, IL
Christine BorkEmail Christine(800) 458-6223