Mae, 6 years old
Diagnosis: Mae was found to suffer from Wilms tumor in October 2010.
Mae’s story: Mae is a girly girl. She loves dolls, the color pink and glitter – lots and lots of glitter. On this particular day, Mae goes through a large box full of dress up clothes. There are princess dresses, fairy wings and dance costumes to sort through. Mae finds what she’s looking for, a frilly pink dress full of sparkles. She puts on the dress and a bejeweled tiara, then poses in front of the mirror, a princess ready for the ball.
In 2010, Mae’s family was devastated to learn that she suffered from Wilms tumor, a solid tumor of the kidney. She received treatment at a local hospital, which included surgery to remove the tumor and her left kidney, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
But in March 2012, Mae’s cancer returned. This time, her family turned to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for her continuing treatment. Mae’s mother grew up in Memphis and knew about the hospital.
“St. Jude has a wealth of knowledge about this type of cancer,” said Mae’s mother. “That’s where we wanted to be.”
At St. Jude, Mae’s treatment included chemotherapy and radiation therapy. “The care at St. Jude is so comprehensive,” said her mother. “It’s so team-oriented.”
While undergoing treatment at St. Jude, Mae became friends with other patients undergoing treatment for Wilms tumor. “We didn’t have this community the first time around,” her mom said. “Mae’s St. Jude friends can be there for her in a way I can’t.”
Mae is done with treatment and now visits St. Jude for regular checkups. She looks forward to coming back to the hospital so she can see her friends and her doctors and nurses. Mae, who has two sisters, loves paper dolls, making beaded jewelry and playing with Barbies.
Recently, Mae participated in the kindergarten graduation at St. Jude. She donned a cap and gown and beamed brightly when she received her diploma. She’s looking forward to starting first grade this fall.