On September 14, 2002, a beautiful little angel named Alexa Michelle Nawrocki was born. Alexa's first year of life was healthy. When Alexa was 17 months old, she came down with a cold along with a low-grade fever. Within a couple of days, her cold disappeared. However, her fever continued. Upon examination by the doctor, a mass was found on her kidney. We found ourselves in the emergency room at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. We were advised that Alexa had Stage IV Neuroblastoma (cancer was in her bones, bone marrow, and there was a small amount in the lungs and liver. The hospital advised that her cancer could be treated with chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, and two (2) stem cell transplants.
Alexa tolerated the chemotherapy well and the mass on her kidney seemed to be going down. By June, Alexa finished 3 rounds of chemotherapy and was now gearing up to have the mass removed from her kidney. We were advised that the bone scan looked good and the bone marrow had less than 10% of the cancer cells present.
We started thinking that Alexa was really going to get better until the results of the MIBG scan showed new spots in her lungs and on her liver. After two weeks, we were told that the spots were Neuroblastoma and that her treatment plan had to be changed.
In July, just after having one round of the new drug, Alexa started coming down with high fevers and she was having difficulty breathing. It was at this time that the doctors advised my husband and I that the lesions in her lungs were spreading and that Alexa was terminal. I had the choice of staying in the hospital or bringing Alexa home, where she would be more comfortable. We chose to bring her home. On August 6, 2004, at home with Bill and I, Alexa lost her battle with Neuroblastoma.
Her story does not end but continues with the Alexa Nawrocki Pediatric Cancer Foundation, Inc. Through contributions and fundraisers, Alexa will help other children with cancer along with their families to try and make their stay at Children's Hospital a little better. May it be a gift to a child or to ease the burdens that are placed on parents who have a child with cancer. Too many children are diagnosed with cancer each year. For further information, please contact us at:
Alexa Nawrocki Pediatric Cancer Foundation, Inc.
P.O. Box 628
Marlton, NJ 08053