Like any other 8-year-old, Maggie is looking forward to summer – playing soccer, cheerleading, and fun in the sun. However, part of Maggie’s summer will be interrupted for tri-monthly cancer scans.
Maggie’s parents have been dealing with their daughter’s health issues since she was very young. Before her second year of life, Maggie was diagnosed with retinoblastoma. After the cancer was operated on, it was discovered some months later that it had spread into her bone marrow. Nine rounds of chemotherapy, radiation, and multiple hospital stays over the years seemed to put Maggie in the clear. In October of 2015, however, future tests took place and another cancer was discovered – this time in her bladder.
Aveolar Soft-Parts Sarcoma is one of the rarest forms of cancer. Only one other person besides Maggie has been diagnosed. Due to its rare nature, there is no treatment or cure. Radiation and chemotherapy do not help. Today, Maggie has to be scanned every three months. Any sign of cancer must be operated on immediately. This past December, a successful removal was made.
During these times, Maggie is forced to miss school for multiple days at a time. This will be the case throughout Maggie’s academic career. Still, Maggie remains positive playing soccer, running track, and cheerleading. Her three siblings (Michael, Mary Kate, and Matthew) are supportive of their sister and her belief that she will “kick cancer’s butt.”
Mom Mary Beth stopped working after Maggie’s initial diagnosis, and Dad Mike has had to find multiple ways to make ends meet. A NYC firefighter lieutenant, Dad has taken on multiple side jobs to help pay for the increasing hospital bills. As the majority of Maggie’s testing facilities are out of her insurance’s network, there remain many out-of-pocket expenses.
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