On July 19, 2019, Savannah had open heart surgery to remove what was believed to be a large, benign Myxoma in the left atrium.
Unfortunately, the tumor was not benign after all, nor was it a Myxoma. Savannah went from a normal, healthy and happy 13-year-old to the first child ever diagnosed with Leiomyosarcoma of the heart.
Savannah’s family is not new to challenges or trauma. Her father, Vince, is a combat disabled Veteran who served in the Army for 13 years and was medically retired due to injuries from his three deployments. However, that trauma did not come close to receiving the devastating news that Savannah had cancer.
Because of Savannah’s rare cancer, it took some time to figure out the most effective treatment protocol. The initial plan was simple monitoring but, after her oncologist spoke to more experts, they decided to do nine rounds of aggressive chemotherapy as well as six and a half weeks of proton radiation. The local radiation specialist had never purposely radiated on a heart before Savannah’s.
Savannah’s parents must travel to Atlanta daily for her radiation treatment, while balancing a second child who is in high school. The financial stress of this travel, in addition to many out-of-pocket medical expenses, has been very difficult. The experience has been trying for Savannah as well. She is a social butterfly who loves being with friends, dancing, singing, and doing hair and makeup. Cancer has affected all of these things.
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.