Gia

 

Gia was a darling little toddler old, whose smile could melt any heart. In 2007, Gia took a tumble and fractured her skull. Scans revealed a tumor wrapped around her adrenal gland. Gia was then diagnosed with Neuroblastoma. Doctors felt it was inoperable given the positioning of the tumor. She began chemotherapy. It was ineffective in shrinking the tumor, so surgery has been the only line of defense. To date, Gia has had 7 surgeries, four to reduce the size of the tumor, and three to remove tumor that had spread to intestines. She has had numerous hospital stays... some as long as three months. Although she has had life altering complications from her surgeries, Gia perseveres. She is a fan of Miley Cyrus, Kelli Pickler, the Jonas Brothers, and Taylor Swift. She learned all the words to her favorite songs, and when in-patient, Gia would set up her performance area, dress to impress, and perform "concerts" in the hospital halls! She always drew a big crowd. Gia has star power! She was very social with staff and patients, and became an inspiration and motivator to so many other kids. Though currently not on treatment, Gia has cancerous tumor remaining, and is scanned frequently to monitor and be sure there is no significant tumor growth. Gia remains a happy, spunky, and energetic young girl with an uncompromised zest for life. She began pre-school in September 2010.

*Neuroblastoma, (NB), is a cancer of the sympathetic nervous system, a nerve network that carries messages from the brain. NB is a solid, malignant tumor that is found in the abdomen or around the spinal cord in the chest, neck, or pelvis. Typically, by the time of diagnosis, multiple tumors will be found. There is no known cure for NB, and recurrence rates are about 50%.