2-year-old Anja is a happy energetic little girl who absolutely LOVES Mickey Mouse and Bluey.
But on New Year’s Eve of 2020, little Anja developed a fever. When the fever spiked, Anja’s mom rushed her straight to the emergency room.
After an ultrasound, her family were told some devastating news…
A tumor the size of a softball was found in Anja’s abdomen, and she would need major surgery immediately.
Later, Anja was diagnosed with a type of liver cancer known as hepatoblastoma.
After the surgery, Anja was handling everything well until she suddenly started to go septic. This meant that bile from her liver was leaking into the rest of her body, putting her life at risk.
Anja had to go into emergency surgery immediately and as her mother told us:
“We will never forget what she looked like as she went back to the operating room… the bile made her skin yellow”.
Since her diagnosis, Anja has endured 8 major surgeries, 17 hospital stays, 7 rounds of chemotherapy, and she’s experienced nerve damage, physical delays, speech concerns, and sensory issues.
But as her mom says:
“Even though she is afraid to go to the doctors now, she fights and makes it through… and Anja brings joy to everyone!”
She’s also been fortunate to have lots of support around her including nurses, family, friends, doctors and social workers.
But unfortunately, hepatoblastoma can be a very resilient type of cancer and can often find ways to hide from treatment and come back when treatments are finished.
In late 2021, Anja relapsed after months of challenging treatments.
Anja and her family decided to undergo surgery to remove the mass they found in her lung and restart chemotherapy.
Thankfully, as of June 2022, Anja has been cancer-free.
Right now, Anja’s most recent bloodwork is concerning her care team and a follow-up will be needed to make further conclusions.
Anja… YOU are so incredibly brave and strong. We will be riding for YOU with all our hearts this September.