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Juliana’s Story

Juliana was diagnosed with stage 3, group 3 Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma on 3/7/07. She had 6 weeks of radiation therapy and 14 rounds of chemotherapy. Julie relapsed on 3/17/11 and received another 12 rounds of chemotherapy and 5 more weeks of radiation therapy. Julie relapsed a second time on 6/5/12 and received 12 more rounds of chemotherapy and 10 more weeks of radiation therapy. She relapsed a third time 3/17/14 and after surgery that removed 90% of the new tumor had five more weeks of radiation therapy and two more rounds of chemotherapy. She is now on oral chemotherapy and will remain on it for the foreseeable future. Please keep Julie in your prayers!

Until Sunday, February 18, 2007 we had no idea there was anything wrong with our beautiful, happy, confident five-year-old daughter. She came into our room that morning complaining about a "bump" under her right arm. The bump turned out to be a swollen lymph node and we discovered the next day at the pediatrician's office that she also had a tumor on her right forearm. After x-rays and an MRI, we received that awful call from the doctor--it appeared the tumor was cancerous and that it had matastisized to the lymph node. The next two weeks went by in a blur as we drove back and forth each day to the hospital for exams, blood work, numerous scans, a biopsy and surgery. Julie's treatment will include weekly chemotherapy for 42 weeks, daily radiation for six weeks and possibly more surgery to remove the tumor after is shrinks.

We adopted Julie from Minsk, Belarus on August 26, 2003 when she was 20 months old. We believe that God placed her in our family for a reason. Had she remained in the orphanage in Belarus, she would not have received treatment for her cancer. Instead, God allowed her to be adopted into an American family where some of the best medical care in the world is within driving distance and surrounded her with many, many loving, caring family members and friends.

Latest Journal Update


Juliana saw her oncologist at the hospital today. Her counts were all good, and besides a sore throat that just started today, she is feeling good. Her eyelid is still healing, but it is closing a little further at night. She is still not blinking, needs antibiotic eye drops and lubricant eye ointment and is experiencing light sensitivity, but that is to be expected. After weighing her treatment options over the last few weeks, we've decided to try switching Juliana to a different oral chemotherapy combination. Her oncologist thinks doing this will keep the cancer cells from becoming resistant to the chemotherapy. As long as we can get our insurance company to pay for it, she will be starting oral irinotecan and oral temozolomide within the next week. In the meantime, she'll continue to get oral cyclophosphamide and etoposide.

Julie had a good time at the Children's Cancer Foundation Gala last Saturday--she looked so pretty and enjoyed the food, especially the crab cakes. She is also ready for Halloween--she picked out her costume (she's going to be a very cute raccoon) and her pumpkin last weekend.

Juliana will see her eye surgeon next Wednesday for another post-op exam and will see her oncologist in two weeks on November 5th for an exam and blood counts.
22 people hearted this



Suzanne Hirtle
By Suzanne Hirtle
I am so glad that things are looking well. Two weeks! That is GREAT!!!!!! I think I cried the first time I heard 2 weeks.
Joann Groft
By Joann Groft — last edited
I'm so happy to hear the good news. Juliana is an amazing young lady. I was so honored to meet her at the Red Cross blood drive back in August at Bay City in Hanover. I donated blood again this past Monday. Juliana and her entire family are in my prayers every night. Love you all!
1 person hearted this
Amanda Gilliams
By Amanda Gilliams
Prayers and blessings for your sweet girl--it's great that her eye is healing, and that she is feeling well. Best thoughts to you and your whole family~
Claudia Ketcham
I am so glad your eye is getting better! You are in my thoughts and prayers.