By her mom, Lisa
Zoie's story begins on August 11, 2009, three days before her third birthday when she fell on the playground. After brushing herself off, she got right back up and continued playing. That evening during her bath, I saw that her left side was severely swollen. Since she wasn't in pain I decided to wait until the morning to see if the swelling would go down.
The next morning things hadn’t changed much so I took her to the doctor. He examined her and said she probably had a soft tissue injury from the fall which can cause extreme swelling. But everything else looked okay.
Two weeks went by. Zoie seemed fine but the swelling was still there, so we went back to the doctor. He advised us to have X-rays taken so we could get a closer look.
And this is where the whirlwind begins. Zoie got an X-ray and CT Scan. We were next directed Children's National where they conducted further testing. Her diagnosis: Stage 4 Wilms Tumor. The cancer was initially in her left kidney but has spread to her lungs and is also around a major vein (inferior vena cava). She would need to endure six months of chemo, complete removal of her left kidney, and possibly two weeks of radiation. As a parent, it was a lot to take in--but we were told hers was a very treatable form of cancer with a 90% success rate.
After the initial shock, we gathered ourselves together and prayed. Our faith kept us strong and we believed our little girl would be a testament to that faith.
And so fast forward to now: Zoie is four years old, and most importantly, CANCER FREE! She only has one kidney, but we figure that's why God gave us two!! Zoie is thriving, attends pre-school, and enjoys dance class every week where she masters ballet and tap. She loves to express herself artistically whether she’s painting a masterpiece, drawing, or singing and dancing.
Zoie is truly an amazing gift, she’s a fighter, and that's what happens to kids who are given the gift of quality care at Children’s Medical Center!