Meet this sweet 2 year old baby girl, Ava Parker. On December 10, 2012, her life changed dramatically. What started out as a black eye and grouchiness, turned into a parent’s worst nightmare. Ava was diagnosed with a malignant tumor known as a Rhabdoid Tumor. Facebook Page
This tumor is located behind Ava’s left eye. With everything the doctor’s know about this type of cancer, which is not much at all, she has less than 20% chance of making it through this alive. This cancer is one of the rarest cancers out there and very aggressive. Ava started her plan of chemotherapy one week before Christmas because it is so aggressive. She is taking on 6 different types of chemo as well as surgery and radiation. Her chemo plan has her taking a treatment once a week for 6 weeks and then to be followed by a treatment for 4 days a week for 2 weeks before returning to the once a week treatment. Ava has already lost all of her hair due to this chemo.
On March 1st, 2013 Ava underwent a four-and-a-half hour surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible. The procedure was not an easy one. Behind her eye, the tumor is next to her brain and near her main eye artery. This means Ava had the chance of losing vision in her left eye. The tumor had already begun deteriorating her eye socket bones. This surgery will leave Ava needing more reconstructive surgeries for the rest of her life. After Ava starts to heal from the surgery, she will travel to Bloomington, IN for her radiation treatments.She will undergo 5 weeks of radiation. Each week consists of her being sedated each day 5 days a week. She is being sedated because where the tumor is located, the doctors CANNOT take the chance of her moving; not even a millimeter. During these 5 weeks in Bloomington, Ava has to travel back up to Indy for her weekly dose of Chemo. The chemo treatments will last well into September. Now imagine what that does to a 2 year old's body! Ava is on 3-7 different types of medication on any given day, two of which helps her sleep. She can’t even sleep on her own because the chemo has made it uncomfortable. These medications do not include the ones she has to take if she catches any type of infection, diaper rash, or even a common cold, all of which could claim her life.
After all of this, she still has a very good chance of the cancer returning! She may never be cured. She may never get the chance to ring her bell at Riley saying that she kicked cancer’s butt! Is it fair? No!!!! But with your help, we will make the rest of her life as awesome as possible!!!
On August 19th, 2013, Ava finished her "scheduled" cancer treatments. On August 31st, 2013, Ava was running in the kitchen and slipped and fell. She ended up with a broken leg. Her bones are so brittle from all of the chemo that it doen't take much to break them. On August 28, 2013, Ava and her parents left for Disney World to enjoy some much needed vacation time through Make A Wish Foundation. She had the time of her life. And she started opening her left eye!! Ava was scheduled on September 9th for her "final scans".
September 9th, 2013, Ava was scheduled for her "final scans" and they would tell us if the tumor was gone. Remember when I said she only had a 20% success rate coming into this journey? Well she wasn't even supposed to make it to her surgery date! Well the scans came back with no activity which meant she is in Remission!!! She will have a follow up MRI sometime in November to make sure the cancer has not returned.
Ava's MRI results came back December 9, 2013, showing it has tripled in size in the last 2 months. At this time the doctors have not given us any options that we feel comfortable enough pursing.
On January 9, 2014, Ava gained her angel wings and now has a place in Heaven whole healed and no longer in pain.
Thank you on behalf of Ava's whole family for your love support and prayers during these last 13 months. Please continue to pray for our family as we still have a long hard emotional road ahead of us. Please also continue to follow her Facebook page as well as this website for any events we will have planned to honor Ava as well as help other families that are in the same situation. We wouldn't have made it through this last year if it wasn't for all of our supporters. So from the bottom of our hearts we thank each and everyone of you for all of your donations, thoughts and prayers. -Ava's AvaStrong Family