This lovely young lady is my cousin’s daughter, Catie. Catie is seven.
In June, she started having pain in her hip. This turned out to be caused by a tumor on her spine. Doctors were able to remove the tumor without damaging her spine, but subsequent tests brought more news. As Catie’s father, Kevin, explains:
Unfortunately, the tumor was determined to be a high grade extremely rare form of cancer called an ATRT (Atypical Teratoid Rabdoid Tumor). This type of brain tumor, (all tumors of the central nervous system whether located in the brain or the spinal column are referred to as brain tumors), is very difficult to treat, and a combination of high dose radiation to the entire brain-spinal column area along with aggressive chemotherapy and stem-cell recovery is the prescribed treatment. Because Catie’s type of tumor, and its location in the spine instead of the brain is so unique, (12 reported cases in the last 20 years), the prognosis is uncertain; there simply is not enough evidence to know what Catie’s outcome will be.
Right now, Catie’s undergoing treatment in Tennessee. Her mom, my cousin Christine, is with her; her five siblings are back home in New Jersey with Kevin.
Every day, Kevin and Christine send out an update to family and friends; these updates had all been in ad hoc emails, but now they have a little website — Catie’s Story, www.catiesstory.com — to help them keep everyone informed.
Catie, Christine, Kevin, and the whole family are holding up well, given the situation. They find solace in their faith. They also appreciate the kind words and prayers people have sent.
If you have a moment to stop by the website and send them encouragement, they’d appreciate it. (And so would I.)