#EKC: Cancer patient inspires others with strength and courage
Family shares girl's story to help #erasekidcancer
A princess, a super hero and a courageous little fighter – Bel is known to many at Cook Children's as all of these things and more. Since birth, she’s been in and out of the hospital for medley of medical conditions. First, Bel's parents were told she had club feet, bilateral radial dysplasia and missing thumbs. Then came immune deficiency, a bout with bacterial meningitis, and several go-rounds with pneumonia. By the time Bel was diagnosed with Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma Large B-cell, her mom, Vicki, was used to hospital stays and curveballs.
“By the time she was 1, she had been in the hospital more than out. She had a feeding tube along with countless tests, blood draws, exams and procedures,” said Vicki.
Bel was 5 years old when her parents noticed a pea-sized growth on her nose. Vicki’s gut told her something was wrong, and she was right. Cancer would soon take the roof of Bel’s mouth and damage her vocal chords, leaving her only able to speak in a whisper. After several rounds of chemo, Bel's cancer was in remission. While her family was relieved by the good news, bad news was not far behind. They later learned that Bel has what’s known as a B-cell disorder, meaning the cancer could rear its ugly head again.
“We have our share of bad days, but for the most part Bel is a ray of sunshine for all of us. Her smile lights up the room and she dances her way into the hearts of so many,” said Vicki.
Bel is being monitored closely by her physicians at Cook Children's to make sure she remains cancer-free. For Vicki and the rest of Bel's family, it's hard not knowing what will happen next, but they are taking one day at a time.
"The future is scary, but Bel teaches all of us so much about living life to the fullest every day. Her faith, strength, hope, courage and love are contagious!"
Each September, Cook Children's shares stories and raises funds in honor Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. The money raised for #erasekidcancer supports life-saving research, treatments, technology and programs for patients and families at Cook Children's in Fort Worth, Texas. Please help us create hope for kids, families and caregivers who are fighting every day to #erasekidcancer.