The pain started in her leg days before Connor DeBoer and her mother planned to take a road trip for their friend’s wedding. A visit to the pediatrician revealed something no one in the exam room expected: a tumor the size of a large grapefruit on Connor’s stomach, expanding from her pelvis to her belly button.
Connor was taken to TGH, where an emergency MRI confirmed the family’s growing fears. She was diagnosed with Stage IV Ewing Sarcoma, bone cancer, just a few months before her 14th birthday.
“The first three days, I had over 32 doctors coming in my room examining me because it was the biggest tumor they had seen in 10 years,” Connor said.
Connor received treatment at TGH’s Children’s Medical Center, battling through more than 20 radiation treatments. At her weakest, feeling unable to walk, eat or sleep, Connor found strength from her nurses to continue each month’s treatment.
“If they hadn’t been so positive and loving with me, I don’t think I would have made it,” Connor said. “I was so excited to go to the hospital and see them every month. There is a love that nurses have for their patients that nobody can understand.”
The treatment began to pay off. After 14 months, and one day before her 15th birthday, Connor beat the disease and was declared in remission.
Her health now returned and hair grown back, Connor remains friends with her nurses and visits them at TGH. On the DeBoer property fence, in blue spray paint, her story of triumph is commemorated with a message that her mother, Kristin, wants to share with the world:
“In 2012 my daughter survived cancer. Thank you, God!”