Children fight to ‘CURE’ cancer

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CUMMING, Ga. — Two young Cumming residents — Kristen Sorrell and Kayla Rodriguez — will be among several children featured on the CURE Childhood Cancer’s website this month.

The “CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time,” campaign hopes to raise $275,000 for CURE, a local nonprofit that supports childhood cancer research and patient and family services.

September is also childhood cancer awareness month.

The Web pages for Kristen and Kayla (which will be live Sept. 3 and Sept. 6, respectively), will feature their unique stories as well as an option for friends, families and community supporters to donate.

For 27 months, Kristen fought her cancer and won, said her mother, Jennifer Sorrell.

But not all children are as lucky.

Kristen missed an entire year of preschool because of a compromised immune system, has spent 40 nights at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and lost every hair on her head.

“Our family has attended several funerals and shed many tears for the families who have not had the same outcome that ours has,” Sorrell said. “They are the reason we have been doing this for five years.”

Another Cumming child, Kayla, found out she had a cancerous tumor in her abdomen during her 3-year-old wellness exam.

The family met with the surgeon and after examining Kayla, he told them his goal would be to remove the tumor in one piece with a vertical incision down the center of her stomach.

The surgeon would also being removing her ovary since the tumor was stemming from there. Kayla’s surgery was on May 28, 2010. Surgeons successfully removed her tumor in one piece and her left ovary. The tumor weighed two pounds.

Kayla’s tumor turned out to be a stromal tumor and the flush they did during surgery to determine if there were any cancer cells left in the area came back negative. The surgery was considered Kayla’s “cure.” Kayla is doing wonderfully, said her mother, Irma Rodriguez.

“It’s hard to believe it’s been two years since we were faced with this,” said Rodriguez. “Although Kayla was lucky enough to not have to endure a long battle, we don’t take that for granted.

“Our short journey opened our eyes to the world of childhood cancer, which has inspired us to do what we can to give back and help make a difference in the lives of those who are still fighting,” she said. “Every $5, $10, $20 makes a difference.”

Visit www.curechildhoodcancer.org to donate.

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