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Giving Stories, Mighty Blog

Even a spine tumor can’t stop Mia from living her life to the fullest

Meet Mia! At 11 years old, she was a normal and active kid who ran cross country and played academy level soccer. During the fall of 2017, Mia started becoming more clumsy and unable to kick and control the soccer ball like she had all summer. She was also complaining of back pain and tingles in her legs. Her parents, Jeff and Brenda took her to see her pediatrician and thought that maybe she was just growing, getting taller, or experiencing muscle stress from how active she was.

On Sunday, December 10, 2017, Mia woke up unable to feel her legs. When she got out of bed, her legs collapsed under her body, and she fell to the ground. Mia was taken to Children’s Minnesota where she had a CT scan and doctors later found a tumor on her spine. She was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma.

“Doctors were very honest with us about how serious Mia’s condition was,” explains Brenda. Shortly after her scan, Mia had surgery on her spine to remove the tumor and began treatment at Children’s. She worked with a whole team of therapists; physical therapists, to help her walk again, massage therapists, to help with any pain, and music therapists, to help lift her spirits during such a tough time.

“The nurses and doctors in the PICU were so loving and gentle with Mia,” Brenda says. “One of the nurses even took the time to wash Mia’s long, thick, and very curly hair that was matted from being in bed for so long.”

Despite her diagnosis, Mia continues to live life to the fullest. She even has the chance to be honorary team captain for the Minnesota United during their game this Saturday against the Portland Timbers!

Shine Bright for Kids this September, and help kids like Mia. At Children’s, we believe in providing support to help make journeys more comfortable – even fun! Please support the Cancer Kids Fund at Children’s Minnesota and be a part of this mission. The Cancer Kids Fund provides families with resources like parking and meal vouchers and even assistance paying for rent and utilities for those who qualify. Help make cancer treatment more manageable and participate today

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Kristin Tesmer