Just before she turned two, Mia was diagnosed and treated for a Urinary Tract Infection. Her nurse practitioner, Joy, scheduled Mia for a follow-up ultrasound. During that ultrasound the radiologist saw signs of tumors on Mia’s kidney. Within 24 hours they diagnosed her with Wilms Tumor, a type of pediatric kidney cancer.

Most children don’t experience any symptoms until the tumor grows so big on the kidney it becomes visible through a bump on their belly. Because of that, most cases are diagnosed at a later stage. Thanks to Joy, Mia’s tumor was detected very early. She was immediately referred to countless doctors and specialists, and they outlined a treatment plan including kidney removal, chemotherapy and radiation scheduled within 10 days of diagnosis.

Mia completed cancer treatment when she was 2 1/2. She is now a happy and thriving five-year-old! Throughout treatment, Mia’s parents refused to allow her cancer to define her, and instead celebrated the small moments along the way. They framed Mia’s hospitalizations, transfusions, chemo, radiation treatments and scans with Mia’s beloved Dr. Cash as “visits with her buddies” and “overnight family trips”. There is a fish on the hospital lobby’s big screen, which became their “trip to the aquarium”. Getting stickers from the cancer center was referred to as their “excursion”. Mia’s parents credit their approach to her treatment with a noticeable sense of calm and security in Mia, even amidst painful procedures.