Azalea: age 2, rhabdomyosarcoma (cancerous solid tumor)
In late November, early December of 2015, Simone began to notice an abnormal growth on the body of her daughter, Azalea, 2. Doctors in her home country of Jamaica originally prescribed a series of steroid creams to make it go away. Instead, it kept growing, and on January 14, 2016, Azalea was formally diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a cancerous solid tumor.
Simone says Azalea was the first patient at St. Jude to undergo a surgery in which doctors removed her tumor bed and used skin from the inside of her bottom lip to graft over the area where the tumor had been to make sure everything went back to normal. Azalea has been through 16 chemotherapy treatments and now her mom says the tumor is gone and that her cancer is not visible in any scans. She will remain at St. Jude through at least the end of the year.
“St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, they saved our lives. Not just Azalea’s life, but you know for me and her dad because if anything were to ever go wrong with her, our lives would have been out the door too,” Simone said. “St. Jude saved her and it saved us as a family and for that we’ll be forever grateful.”
Azalea is a social butterfly. She is such a happy child. Nothing ever keeps her down.
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