In March of 2016, we took our 21 month old daughter, Hadley, to the pediatrician to find out why her belly was getting big and swollen. After examining her, Hadley’s pediatrician sent us straight to the emergency room at Children’s in Minneapolis. An ultrasound revealed a large mass on Hadley’s liver and we were immediately admitted to the oncology floor. After several days of testing, we were told that Hadley had a very rare form of cancer called an angiosarcoma.
Hadley started treatment almost immediately, but the large tumor was already causing problems in her little body. A few days after she was admitted to the hospital, the doctors worried that the large mass pushing on her lungs would make it too hard for her to continue breathing independently. She ended up in the ICU on a ventilator for 25 days. We had a lot of complications during Hadley’s first weeks in the hospital, but the doctors and nurses there did a wonderful job caring for her. Eventually, after 40 days in the ICU, Hadley was able to move back to the oncology floor where she was again treated by great group of doctors and nurses.
After a total of 60 days inpatient, we finally were able to take Hadley home. But that was far from the end of Hadley’s ordeal. We continued to return to the Children’s Hospital multiple times a week for several months. Hadley received Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Speech Therapy to help her gain back all the skills she lost during her long hospital stay. She had chemotherapy treatments and clinic visits at the Cancer and Blood Disorders Clinics.
Eventually, after all other options were exhausted, Hadley was referred to a transplant hospital where she had a liver transplant that removed her entire liver along with the tumor. Fortunately, the cancer had not spread beyond her liver and, after 2 final rounds of chemo (just to be safe), she was finished with treatment and on her way to being a normal 2 year old.
We will forever be grateful to Hadley’s wonderful oncologist and all of the other doctors and nurses who treated her at the Cancer and Blood Disorders Clinic. They never gave up on Hadley and always came in with a smile and a positive attitude that helped make a hard situation a lot more manageable. We are happy to be able to use this fundraiser to give back to the Clinic so they can continue helping other children like Hadley on the road to recovery.