In 2015, 15-year-old Rosie was diagnosed with a malignant brain stem tumor the size of a lemon that extended into her first and second vertebrae.
It took a 14 hour emergency surgery to remove the tumor, followed by 33 rounds of radiation.
In January 2016, Rosie’s first post-treatment MRI of the brain, spine and body was NED (no evidence of disease). Though she will have to undergo blood tests, hearing tests, cognitive tests, a full body MRI and a full neurological exam every three months for at least the next five years, Rosie’s life is returning to normal. Now 16, she is back in school and and is learning to drive.
After the surgery, Rosie had more than earned a vacation, but high medical costs had depleted left her family’s travel budget. However, a referral to Make-A-Wish meant that Rosie’s dream of relaxing in Hawaii with her mom, sister and brother could still become a reality.
Before the trip, Rosie’s mom, Chrissy, stated, “Rosie is excited to swim with the dolphins as she has never done that. It is important to her as she wants to share this special memory with her family, and have a relaxing time and forget about medical tests for five days.”
Rosie traveled to Turtle Bay on the island of Oahu, where she swam with dolphins, explored beaches, relaxed by the pool and enjoyed the company of her family.
“The prospect of the trip put a bright spot on our calendar,” said Chrissy. The family found hope, strength and joy in knowing they could, “relax and honor her wish to spend quality time together, in the midst of this cancer battle and uncertainty.”