Over the course of a month, two-year-old McKenna Shea, or Kenni for short, began experiencing random fevers and swelling in her belly. Concerned that Kenni was growing “out” instead of “up,” parents Michael and Meagan decided to consult her pediatrician. At first, the doctor simply attributed the swelling to gas, but within a few weeks, her family realized it was something far more serious. 

Kenni’s fevers continued, with temperatures reaching between 102 to 103 degrees. As the swelling in her abdomen also worsened, her parents decided it was time to revisit the pediatrician. Again, Kenni was diagnosed with a simple case of gas, but to be sure, they sent her to Scottish Rite Hospital for an ultrasound. There, doctors found the cause of Kenni’s swelling. The ultrasound revealed a large mass in her abdomen, and a subsequent CT scan and an MRI confirmed that she had stage three ovarian yolk sac tumors. A yolk sac tumor is a rare, malignant tumor of cells that line the yolk sac of the embryo.

Following her diagnosis, Kenni underwent surgery to remove the largest mass, which was located on her ovary. She also began chemotherapy and is currently in a trial for Carboplatin, a chemotherapy drug used specifically to treat ovarian cancers. She is scheduled for four rounds of chemo, each lasting five days. The rounds occur every three weeks. 

So far, Kenni isn’t letting cancer slow her down. She loves playing sports with her brothers and enjoys coloring, stickers, unicorns and stuffed animals. “Our family and village have been tremendously important as a support system,” said her parents of their experience.

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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