Meet Grace, a sweet 7-year-old girl who loves horses and princesses. In May of 2018, at just 4 years old, Grace’s life took an unexpected turn when she was diagnosed with Stage 4 high-risk Neuroblastoma. Neuroblastoma is a cancer of the nervous system. At diagnosis, Grace’s tumor had unfortunately already spread to distant organs. Her medical team shared that because of this, they were unable to surgically remove her tumor at the time of initial diagnosis. This new, unexpected journey quickly began for Grace and her family.
At the beginning of Grace’s journey, her family made the ultimate sacrifice to temporarily separate and purchased a trailer so that they would meet the 30-mile radius requirement for Grace to receive her bone marrow transplant procedures. Grace and her mother lived in the trailer for approximately eight weeks, while her father and brother stayed home to continue with work and school, proving that even with a cancer diagnosis, life does not stop.
During the course of her treatment, Grace endured eight levels of chemotherapy, a tumor removal, two bone marrow transplants, twelve cycles of radiation, and ten cycles of immunotherapies. Following this intense treatment, Grace then completed nine months of maintenance therapy. Despite living three to four hours away from Grace’s treatment hospital located in the Bay Area, her parents and younger brother always stayed positive and were sure to pursue the commute for each treatment Grace would receive.
In 2020 as the COVID-19 Pandemic began, Grace and her family heard the tragic news that she unfortunately relapsed. With the reoccurrence of her cancer, she completed 15 cycles of a combination of chemotherapy and immunotherapies, which ended in July of 2021.
With the current stage of Grace’s cancer, she was offered the opportunity to participate in a five year clinical trial for Neuroblastoma at Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, in New York. For the clinical trial that began in September of 2021, Grace was randomly selected to receive a series of vaccines in combination with Beta Glucan, requiring the family to travel multiple times across the country throughout the process. The purpose of this trial is to seek out a treatment that will potentially prevent relapses in high-risk Neuroblastoma patients. Grace and her family are grateful to take part in a clinical trial that will hopefully positively impact others!
Keaton’s feels so honored to have supported this family over the years and will continue to be of support through the clinical trials and beyond! Grace’s mother, Jessica, has not shied away from expressing her gratitude towards Keaton’s. Since being referred to the organization, our Family Navigator team has supported Grace and her loved ones with a personalized Hope Chest, gas cards, and food cards for their travels and hospital stays. To support the family with the clinical trial process, our team was happy to provide them with a $500 financial grant, as well. As Grace’s journey continues and she goes through clinical trials, our Family Navigator team will continue follow-up phone calls to offer emotional support as well as gas cards to help their frequent commutes. Like all Keaton’s families, we will remain in this fight together and come alongside Grace as she battles against childhood cancer, a battle that no family should fight alone.
“Thank you! We truly appreciate you guys!“~ Grace’s mom, Jessica