Last September, Alyson began experiencing minor knee pain at the beginning of the school year and, by the middle of the month, she was finding it hard to walk. After an appointment with the pediatrician, Alyson was referred to an orthopedic doctor who ordered x-rays and an MRI. Preliminary results revealed the possibility of a tumor on her femur. Alyson and her family were immediately referred to Vanderbilt, where she underwent biopsies and further scans. 

On October 2, 2018, doctors confirmed that Alyson had osteosarcoma—the most common type of bone cancer found it teenagers. “That weekend, we went on a family trip and enjoyed spending time together, playing cards and playing in the creek,” parents Chris and Amy shared. As soon as the family returned, Alyson began chemotherapy treatments. After two cycles of chemo, she underwent surgery on January 9, 2019 to remove the tumor.

Today, Alyson is continuing her chemotherapy treatments and hopes to be done by the end of June. She has dealt with treatment side effects such as mouth sores and neutropenia, a decreased level of white blood cells known as neutrophils. Alyson, who is an active member of her school’s FFA chapter, also had to miss out on the State and National conventions. 

Despite these challenges, Alyson and her family are happy that the end of treatment is in sight. “This has been an emotional journey for all of us,” her parents said, “but Alyson has kept her head up and relied on God and her strong network of friends and family along the way.”

Every child who has been diagnosed with childhood cancer inspires us to Rally On to find better treatments with fewer long-term side effects and, ultimately, cures. Please join us in the fight against childhood cancer by making a donation or setting up your own Rally fundraiser today.

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