Just before she turned two, Mia was diagnosed and treated for a Urinary Tract Infection through her pediatrician’s office, where her nurse practitioner, Joy, scheduled Mia for a follow-up ultrasound at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. During that ultrasound the radiologist saw signs of tumors on Mia’s kidney. Within 24 hours they diagnosed her with Wilm’s Tumor, a type of Pediatric Kidney Cancer. Most children don’t experience any symptoms until the tumor grows so big on the kidney it becomes visible through a bump on their belly. Because of that, most cases are diagnosed at a later stage. Thanks to Joy, Mia’s was detected very early. She was immediately referred to countless doctors and specialists at CHOA, and they outlined a treatment plan including kidney removal, chemo, and radiation scheduled within 10 days of diagnosis. Mia completed her treatment when she was 2-½.
Throughout treatment, Mia’s parents refused to allow her cancer to define her, and instead celebrated the small moments along the way. They framed Mia’s hospitalizations, transfusions, chemo and radiation treatments, and scans with Mia’s beloved Dr. Cash, as visits with her buddies and overnight family trips. There is a fish on the large screen in the hospital lobby, which has became their “trip to the aquarium” and getting stickers from Aflac Cancer Center was referred to as their excursion. Her parents credit their approach to her treatment with a noticeable sense of calm and security in Mia, even amidst painful procedures. She is surviving and thriving and four years old.