A Valiant Struggle Against Cancer
Our daughter, Courtney, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a pediatric solid tumor cancer, in May '96 at nine months old. Over the next ten months she underwent two surgeries and nine cycles of chemotherapy. An exploratory surgery and various scans in March '97 showed no residual tumor, and she was deemed to be in remission.
In July '98 she relapsed and underwent two surgeries, six cycles of chemotherapy, radiation to her head and abdomen, and on April 1, 1999, an autologous stem cell (bone marrow) transplant. After being released at "day plus 19", she was re-admitted twice for complications, but then progressed daily.
By early June she was back to her usual 'high energy' self and we were confident that she would make a full recovery. We prayed daily for her to have a healthy and happy childhood that all children should enjoy! She began pre-school in mid August and loved the time she spent there with her new friends.
Courtney's future looked bright and cancer-free, but on August 30, 1999, we were devastated when we found out that the cancer had returned. At that point we decided to make the best of each and every day we had with her. We went to Sea World and Legoland in San Diego with extended family and had a wonderful time! In October our family went on her Make A Wish trip to Disney World in Florida, and had a vacation filled with memories that will last a lifetime!
Throughout everything Courtney endured in her four short years, she was a very energetic, bright, cheerful, happy and outgoing little girl. Cancer had been a way of life for her, and she had no idea that life was not like this for all children!
On Thanksgiving morning, November 25, 1999, Courtney passed away peacefully at home.