Meet Elizabeth as told by her mom, Jennifer:
Elizabeth is quite possibly the silliest, most fun-loving 6 year old you’ll ever meet. She loves My Little Ponies, Little Mermaid, playing with her little sister, Anna, and laughing whenever possible.
On April 28, 2013 we took Elizabeth to the emergency room for a lingering fever, loss of appetite and mild shoulder pain. She didn’t appear sick but we figured we should probably have her looked at. That evening, just a few short hours after her tap dance recital we rushed from our local hospital to Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor. The following day, after an invasive biopsy, Elizabeth was diagnosed with Stage IV Wilms Tumor. This rare form of childhood cancer begins with a tumor on the kidney. Elizabeth’s tumor was the size of a small soccer ball. The cancer had also spread to her lungs, liver, and was growing inside her Inferior Vena Cava. Elizabeth underwent 13 consecutive weeks of chemotherapy before having a 9 hour surgery to remove the tumor. The surgery was very successful! After two weeks of recovery from this very extensive surgery Elizabeth endured 12 straight days of radiation to her chest, abdomen and pelvis. She is currently 1 round of chemotherapy away from completing a 33 week treatment protocol!
Elizabeth’s small body has been through so much. However, her happy, fun-loving spirit has never ceased to amaze us. One of Elizabeth’s most consistent requests during her treatment was to go to a bounce house. With her immune system being constantly compromised from the chemotherapy and radiation, we were unable to take her to public bounce houses. On a warm July afternoon, after a particularly challenging round of chemotherapy, we were able to surprise Elizabeth with a bounce house of her very own!! The look on Elizabeth’s face the moment she saw the bounce house was one we will never forget. This summer Elizabeth and her sister, Anna spent countless hours bouncing to their hearts content. They were “hit” of the neighborhood! We are forever grateful to the Neifert Family and Healing with Hope and Happiness for putting a special “bounce” in Elizabeth’s heart during an extremely challenging time.