At just 6 years old, Rally Kid Austen has big dreams for her future. Described by her family as a typical “girly girl” who adores princess stories and glitter, Austen dreams of growing up to be a cheerleader, a teacher, and a nurse—in that order!
“She didn’t add nurse to the list until after she started going to the hospital,” her mom notes, adding, “she really wants to help kids with cancer.”
That’s because two years ago, this ambitious, imaginative little girl was diagnosed with embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma, a type of soft tissue cancer. After a few bleeding episodes and a false diagnosis, doctors finally removed a mass originating from her cervix. From there, Austen underwent a full hysterectomy and her first round of chemotherapy.
Throughout their journey with cancer, Austen and her parents managed to hold on to a sense of humor. They were very straightforward with Austen, showing her pictures of her tumor and naming it “Frida,” which gave them a way to talk about it. When it came time to shave her head during chemo, Austen declared “Happy Bald Head Day!” She also gets a kick out of wearing a shirt that says “messy hair, don’t care.”
While Austen had to give up dance and gymnastics during her treatment, her family remains hopeful for her future. “Of course we hate wondering if the cancer will come back,” says Austen’s parents. “And our biggest hope is that no long-term side effects will come from the treatment.”
While we can’t predict the future, we can help kids like Austen find new treatments for pediatric cancer with fewer side effects. As you plan your year-end giving, think of the Rally Foundation. With your help, we can change their future together.
This December, your donation will be doubled, dollar-for-dollar, up to $50,000. Give today #ForTheirFuture, and help kids like Austen live their dreams.