Savvy Giving by Design’s next room recipient, Savannah (who fortuitously goes by the nickname “Savvy”), has been in treatment since the beginning of this year and, while her progress has been wonderful, she still has a long road ahead. We would love to give this sweet and spunky 3 year-old a beautiful room where she can rest and heal.
Her mother, Michelle, shared Savvy’s story with us in her own words:
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Savannah (aka Savvy) was diagnosed with medulloblastoma at the early age of 2.5. On January 21, 2018 the world as we knew it came to a screeching halt as our daughter’s soon-to-be neurosurgeon walked into our ER room and said the worst 11 words I could never possibly imagine hearing - “I’m going to be frank. Your daughter has a brain tumor.” A follow-up MRI revealed more earth-shattering news as it picked up another smaller tumor in her brain and several more along her spinal cord. She was immediately scheduled for brain surgery the following day to remove the main tumor from her brain and insert a catheter into her head to drain the excess cerebral-spinal fluid that had been blocked from draining thanks to that nasty tumor. We received our first bit of good news in this whole mess that the surgery was successful and they had removed that tumor in almost its entirety.
Even though the follow-up diagnosis was that she has cancer (which we already knew and suspected), it was somehow a breath of fresh air to know that we still had hope. Savvy has gone through 6 months of chemotherapy, including 3 rounds of low-dose chemo followed by 3 rounds of high-dose chemo with stem cell rescue. Although it was a very intense regimen, she handled it all like a champ. Savvy is a fighter. She is an incredibly strong little girl with spunk & sass and a bossy attitude that was needed to carry her through. She amazed all of her doctors with how well she did - always wanting to play, whether that meant bouncing her little red bouncy ball with them or playing hide-and-seek. The nurses all knew her (including the ones who were never assigned to her) as she would spend most of her days in the hospital running the hallway, even pushing her own IV stand at times.
Thankfully, her tumors responded to chemotherapy - her MRI’s have shown improvement and stability with most of them shrinking or remaining about the same. The ones that have remained in her spine are believed to be dead tissue since her recent lumbar puncture came back negative for any tumor cells. We will be meeting with her doctor soon to talk over our next steps, but the tentative plan is for her to go on an oral maintenance chemo for the next few years. The chance of recurrence is extremely high so we will follow up often with MRI’s.