During the early months of 2011, Sydney began experiencing unexplained back spasms in the middle of the night. Because she was an active athlete participating in cheerleading, tumbling and dance, the immediate thought was muscle strain. Her family sought medical treatment three different times including a spinal xray at each visit. The xrays were read as “normal”, never detecting the tumor growing on her T5 vertebrae. “At the end of July, Sydney began experiencing a change in her gait, numbness in her abdomen and she fell during a tumbling session while attempting a very simple tumble pass. She had a look of fear on her face that only a Mother recognizes,” her mother said. “Our pediatrician scheduled a MRI on August 2. That day changed our lives forever. Sydney was immediately admitted into the hospital and had spinal surgery (lamenectomy) performed on August 4th to obtain a biopsy of the tumor and decompression of the spinal cord. Sydney was diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma. She completed 17 rounds of chemotherapy, 28 rounds of proton radiation and 8 blood transfusions. Sydney completed therapy in May of 2012 and jumped right back into cheering and dancing full time. Unfortunately, the pain in her back returned and in June of 2013 a follow up MRI/CT scan showed an increase of tissue at the original tumor site. A biopsy was performed in July and recurrence was detected. She has surgery in the summer of 2014 to remove several vertebrae in hopes of a cure.
Sydney earned her angel wings in November, 2014 after a courageous fight against childhood cancer. She was a strong and brave child who was loved by so many.