Meet Ava

Parenting
8-year-old Ava loves being outside, especially when she’s fishing and swimming with family and friends. At a routine checkup at 9 months, her pediatrician saw that the left side of her body was larger than her right, and an orthopedist confirmed her to have hemihypertrophy, which has a strong link to childhood cancer. An ultrasound confirmed both her kidneys had cancerous tumors and Ava was diagnosed with nephroblastomatosis — the most common type of kidney cancer in children. Ava’s family moved to St. Louis in 2017 and transferred her care to the experts at Siteman Kids at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Unfortunately, she relapsed again in 2018 and 2021, so that is when her medical team got even more aggressive. Her oncologist at St. Louis Children’s decided to remove her left kidney following chemotherapy to give her treatment a better chance at beating the cancer and avoiding yet another relapse. Ava’s last treatment was in October 2021 and her scans have been clear since.

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