Ivy

It was October of 2017 when Ivy’s mom heard from her verbal one-year-old for more than a week that her back hurt. Curious as to what could be causing her daughter pain, her mom scheduled an appointment with Ivy’s pediatrician. That visit led to blood work that showed elevated markers and in turn, a referral to Children’s Hospital Colorado the very next day. Practitioners at Children’s Colorado found cancer in Ivy’s abdomen and she was admitted on the spot. A diagnosis of Stage 4 high-risk Neuroblastoma on October 13 required that Ivy start on an intense treatment protocol right away. The stage 4 diagnosis is based on the fact that her cancer was found in two places –  a tumor in her abdomen & cancer cells in the bone marrow.

“She’s gone through so much for such a young person,” said Ivy’s mom, Amber.  Ivy has endured six rounds of chemotherapy, a tumor resection, the harvesting of stem cells, two stem cell transplants, and 20 rounds of radiation and immunotherapy – all within a year. That doesn’t include complications like a blood infection and the long, challenging days spent in the hospital.

Currently, Ivy is still undergoing immunotherapy and has been accepted into a cancer vaccine clinical trial at Memorial Sloan Kettering pending insurance and financial approvals that her parents are actively pursuing.

Despite her enduring journey, Ivy has remained remarkably brave and resilient. Her parents have been in awe of her ability to bounce back from the pain and suffering associated with pediatric cancer.  “She has been so amazing,” said Amber. “That’s where I get my strength and same as her dad. We see her getting beat down and she pops right back up – running around like she’s not even sick. We certainly had sick days and hard days, but it was so amazing to see her resiliency. I can’t believe how tough this kid is.”

Today, Ivy’s scans are cancer free and her parents hold out hope that over time, they will stay that way.

Click here to watch a video about Ivy.