Liv is a butterfly-chasing 9-year-old girl and the youngest of four siblings.
In 2019, Liv was diagnosed with grade 3 anaplastic ependymoma, a cancer of the central nervous system. Beginning with what Liv explained to her mom as the appearance of kaleidoscope images in her vision, turned into frequent headaches, short term memory loss and eventually a seizure after golf practice. That’s when Liv’s mom knew they needed to go to St. Louis Children’s Hospital.
An EEG revealed a seizure in her occipital lobe, and an MRI showed a lesion in her brain. Liv underwent brain surgery to remove the tumor. Just 15 days post-surgery the family received the devastating news — to cure her brain cancer, Liv would need to endure six weeks of proton beam radiation, a highly targeted and accurate form of radiation therapy used to treat tumors located near vital organs. This particular type of therapy is designed so the radiation is delivered at the precise site of the tumor, minimizing damage to the rest of the body. This is especially important for very young patients like Liv as it protects growing bones and tissue. It also results in fewer side effects than traditional radiation therapy for many cancer patients.
While receiving therapy, Liv would have to lie completely still for 40 minutes at a time.
With this personalized treatment plan and the support of her family, Liv is currently in remission. Generous support of our community allows us to always be there for every child who needs us. Liv was able to complete her treatment at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, which, in partnership with the Siteman Cancer Center and Washington University School of Medicine, offers the only pediatric proton beam therapy center in Missouri and the surrounding region.