Nineteen-year-old Tacey was diagnosed with her first childhood cancer, retinoblastoma, at just seven months of age. Retinoblastoma is a rare form of cancer that rapidly develops from the immature cells of a retina, the light-detecting tissue of the eye. She immediately started chemotherapy, received more chemo when she was 18 months old and even more when she turned seven. During these years, she also received local treatments and plaque radiation.
From the beginning, Tacey suffered from neuropathy, a common side effect of chemo that can damage nerves that affect feeling and movement in the hands and feet. Tacey’s neuropathy affected her lower legs and feet, and parents Tammy and Michael struggled to find remedies for her painful condition.
When Tacey was 14, she was diagnosed with a second childhood cancer known as esthesioneuroblastoma (ENB). Also known as olfactory neuroblastoma, ENB is a rare malignant tumor of the upper nasal cavity and anterior skull base. Once again, Tacey had to undergo chemo, multiple surgeries and proton beam radiation. During treatment, her neuropathy intensified and she developed a new issue called pigmented villonodular synovitis (PVNS) in her hip. This meant a very large tumor was growing out of control in her hip socket.
Today, Tacey has received her maximum lifetime dosage of three of the most critical chemo drugs she will need. She is blind from the retinoblastoma and requires MRIs and surger every three to six months. “She has had more chemo, surgeries and other procedures than anyone should ever endure,” her parents said 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.