4 Years Old
Jaden was discovered to have stage II malignant extrarenal rhabdoid tumor in April 2004. It is a tumor that arises in soft tissue.
“Have you noticed the lump on Jaden’s neck?” the day care worker asked Teresa as she arrived to take her daughter home. Looking at a lump, Teresa recalled bathing Jaden the night before. Nothing out of the ordinary caught her eye. But there it was now—a lump the size of a walnut where Jaden’s neck met her shoulder. Jaden’s doctor thought it was a bug bite, then strep. Finally, the little girl was sent to a pediatric surgeon who would perform a biopsy to determine what the lump was.
The 30-minute procedure turned into a three-hour ordeal as the surgeon elected to remove the mass he had found after beginning Jaden’s operation. “I am not sure what it is, but it doesn’t look good,” he told Jaden’s parents afterward. A week later, the Brunnemers received a call from the local pediatric oncology offi ce. That was when they learned their daughter had cancer. She would be going to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for additional treatment.
AT ST. JUDE:
Jaden underwent chemotherapy, which she was able to continue back home, before returning to St. Jude to receive radiation treatments over a two-month period. Jaden was then able to return home again to fi nish her therapy, all under the guidance of her doctor at St. Jude. “We were fortunate that her tumor had attached to the muscle of her neck and was not on an organ and that we caught it before it had metastasized,” Teresa said. “St. Jude means my daughter’s life,” Teresa added. “She wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for St. Jude. It gives you piece of mind when you go there. Your focus can be on your child.”