Katie, a mom from Jacksonville, found herself facing the unimaginable when her daughter, Ansley, was diagnosed with a brain tumor at just 20 months. Their journey led them to Nemours Children’s Health, Jacksonville, where they received exceptional care and support.
Ansley’s story began with a sudden and terrifying event — a focal seizure at daycare. She was immediately rushed to the hospital, where she was admitted and underwent a series of tests. The next morning, an MRI revealed the cause of her seizure: a tumor on the right side of Ansley’s brain. It was a devastating diagnosis for Katie and her family, marking the beginning of their fight against childhood cancer.
At Nemours Children’s, Ansley had a dedicated team of doctors, practitioners, nurses, and medical staff, led by Dr. Klawinski. Katie emphasized the confidence and reassurance they felt in knowing her child was receiving expert medical care. “You truly feel that your child is in the best hands and receiving the best care possible for their condition,” says Katie. “They are able to be there for you and support you during very difficult times.”
Looking ahead to the future, Katie and her family are eager to return to normal life once Ansley’s treatments are complete. Their plans include helping Ansley ease back into the life she had before the brain surgery and chemotherapy. “Ansley’s had to learn how to move her left arm and leg again, and re-learn to walk,” says Katie. “We still have a ways to go, but are enjoying every good moment we have along the way. We are so lucky for all of the family and friend support close and far; and of course, for the excellent doctors, nurses, and every person we’ve interacted with at Wolfson and Nemours. We look forward to the end of treatment and know that she will beat this!” Ansley’s family is hopeful that her treatment regimen, including three cycles of high dose chemotherapy each with a with stem cell transplant using Ansley’s own bone marrow stem cells, will prevent the tumor from returning.
For parents and patients facing a similar journey, Katie offers advice. She recognizes that the path won’t be easy, but with patience and the support of friends, family, and medical staff, it is possible to overcome challenges. “It’s a marathon, not a sprint,” says Katie. “There will be difficult days, but the good days and moments of joy will shine through.”