Aubrey was born in December 2016 as our first child. What a radiant light she was to us and to many!
In February 2019, shortly after her second birthday, she suddenly encountered some neurological changes that made her unable to walk or stand without falling. A neurology consult at our local children's hospital told us that it was a brain tumor, a parent's worst nightmare, especially those with a medical background.
The pathology report further told us her tumor was ATRT, a rare and highly aggressive cancer, and her oncology team recommended we don't Google this cancer as the survival rate is historically poor. Though there have been some advances made, survival is still poor, and even worse for children who experience relapse.
After making it through the grizzly frontline treatment, Aubrey was given No Evidence of Disease status in October 2019 after completely clear scans. Finally! She could just be a kid again and enjoy playing with her little sister.
Our lives once again took a sideroad when she started getting headaches, which turned into further neurological issues in Jan/Feb 2020. Our worst fear was relapse. We again jumped in the car and headed for the ER at our treatment hospital. Wheeling her into MRI, she calmly told my husband and I "don't worry mommy and daddy, I'm not scared." What intuition, courage, and vastly-flowing love our now three-year-old had! Knowing what was possible, we prayed it wouldn't be, but our fears were soon confirmed. Aubrey had relapsed significantly...enough that her tumors wrapped around her optic nerves. Our only hope now was clinical trials, which required another surgery to get a new tumor sample for testing.
As we waited, we headed out on our Wish Trip, which didn't end up being a great trip because she got hydrocephalus, which caused her to lose her sight and start having seizures. That prompted a local ER trip to have a brain drain placed to relieve the pressure, only to be replaced by a shunt a couple of days later, followed by the trip home after she was discharged.
The issues kept coming once we arrived home as the seizures returned and she started having respiratory distress, due to the tumors paralyzing her vocal cords.
On May 10 2020, Mother's Day, our darling angel went home to be with our Lord and Savior. Comforted in knowing she is no longer in pain, but distraught over our loss, we grieve for her every day. We will forever cherish every single memory and moment we had with our Aubrey in her three short, yet impactful, years she had with us on Earth. We thank God every day for that time and the ability to get to know her. Her, and many others', life was cut far too short by this beast. Though Aubrey no longer resides with us, her life lives on in her tumor donations, which will be used for research to hopefully help someone else in the future.