In December I took the first of many photos of Maddy. She’s the most precocious seven year old you could imagine. Her smile and love of life shines through the pain she must be suffering through. Maddy is fighting against stage 3 neuroblastoma.
Neuroblastoma is the most common extracranial solid cancer in childhood and the most common cancer in infancy, with an annual incidence of about six hundred and fifty cases per year in the U.S., and a hundred cases per year in the U.K. Nearly half of neuroblastoma cases occur in children younger than two years. It is a neuroendocrine tumor, arising from any neural crest element of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS). It most frequently originates in one of the adrenal glands, but can also develop in nerve tissues in the neck, chest,abdomen, or pelvis.
Maddie, finds a partner in Lily Bear, a 4-pound Yorkie, who helped her through her recent bone marrow transplant. The Ottosen Family Blood and Marrow Transplant Program uses stem cell
transplants to help patients renew the building blocks that create healthy cells. Lily Bear and other
volunteers from the PetSmart Paws Can Heal program visit with patients to raise their spirits
and empower them to continue their fight.Photo: Anna Kupperberg