Stella was diagnosed with stage 3/4 medulloblastoma on April 20th 2020. This was about one month into the Covid shut down, and as a result of those closures, Stella's mom's job, where she built her career of 10 years was permanently closed, leaving the family with less than 50% of their normal income. The combination of this and needing to be available all the time for Stella's very rigorous and time consuming treatment plan, has continuously made it impossible for the mom to find work in her field of expertise. Stella's journey has gone as follows:
December 2019-April2020 she began to get headaches that grew in severity and length of time, causing her to go to bed earlier and earlier... They took her to the doctor 4 times to discuss what they thought was more then just headaches....and were sent away with recommendations to have her rest more.
April 20, 2020 Stella woke up and threw up, so mom took her to Radys Children Hospital to do a full assessment. They decided she was just peachy and were about to send them home. When she lost her balance and fell to the floor. This caused them to move forward with the CAT scan that her pediatrician had recommended. They found a hint of a mass at the base of her head just above her neck. The MRI showed two masses and many other affected areas in her brain.
She was immediately scheduled for an 8 hour brain surgery which went well, but they had to leave a sliver so that she wouldn't "lose anything important". Next we found out that she has medulloblastoma, and they started a 31 day proton radiation treatment on her head and entire spine. She completed 6 1/2 of 7 rounds of chemotherapy. During this time from June 2020 to February 2021she had an enormous amount of 'hiccups 'in the plan...from another head surgery to remove the metal plate because of an infection, 6 weeks of being accessed through her port for antibiotics, over 60 blood and platelet transfusions, and fevers. At one point she was hospitalized as an anorexic patient, due to loss of appetite due to all the treatments and radiation. It took her getting to a point where she was moments from death to be treated. She then had to have a tube through her nose which was so painful she could scarcely swallow. Mom fought with them to remove it and they eventually got the g-tube, which has been successful in helping her regain a healthy weight, but this also comes with it's own set of pains.
Through the help of family and friends they have been able to survive this past year. However the funds have run dry and Stella's journey is far from over.
Please consider donating any amount as the family is fundraising to help them get through this next year as Stella treatments continues.