Many know our story; our daughter had a bellyache. A bellyache – a typical childhood complaint. Thankfully, we made the decision to go to our pediatrician. Four hours later, we were sitting on the 9th floor, the pediatric floor, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Just two days later, our daughter began chemotherapy to treat High Risk Neuroblastoma. We would not leave the 9th floor for 22 days. Due to the aggressive nature of Neuroblastoma and the risk of relapse, active treatment continues to this day. Many treatments for Neuroblastoma and other pediatric cancers are currently trials, as doctors and researchers are furiously working to create less toxic and more effective treatments for kids.
As a family, we were astounded by the outpouring of love and support extending from those closest to us to those whom we didn’t even know. Notes of encouragement, gifts for our children, meals for our family, financial donations, and even literal parts of one’s body – in the form of blood – were shared. We didn’t know what we needed, but those closest to us thought of it all. While we were paralyzed, others stepped up.
Now WE are stepping up. We have said all along that we would never wish our family situation on anyone. So we created The Tiny Dancer Project. Our daughter would live in her “ballet-tard”, tutu, tights and ballet slippers if she could. She loves putting on a dance show or trying out a new spin. She has even been known to dance with the music blaring while waiting for scans or coping after a painful treatment. Our goal is to figure out a way to help other families worry less about cancer and more about the sweet moves of precious little feet.