Brooke has always been such a happy and a tenderhearted little girl, full of energy and a love for life. She never complained about anything until Christmas Eve 2008, (age 4), when she started limping and complaining of pain in her leg. She opened her gifts, and then just wanted to lie on the couch with ice on her leg. Soon after, she was unable to straighten her legs, the pain was unbearable, and she started running a fever. January 5, 2009 Brooke was diagnosed with a very aggressive cancer, Stage IV high risk Neuroblastoma* that had started in her right adrenal gland, spread through nearly every bone in her body, and 80-90% of her bone marrow. Since that awful day, Brooke has had 8 rounds of chemo, 4 surgeries, 2 stem cell transplants, numerous bone marrow biopsies, blood & platelet transfusions, 12 days of radiation to her skull, femurs and abdomen, and completed a grueling 6 month immunotherapy clinical trial (ch.14.18) in April 2010. Brooke suffered significant high frequency hearing loss from her chemotherapy treatments and now requires hearing aids in both ears. Brooke is currently NED (No Evidence of Disease) and finished with her treatments. Since the relapse rate is so high with Neuroblastoma, she will get follow up scans every 3 months for the next 5 years and will be monitored closely for possible late effects from all her treatments. Brooke and her family celebrated her end of a year and a half of treatments with a Make-A-Wish trip to Orlando, FL and continue to celebrate life every day!

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*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%.