PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A young girl radiates with joy despite her cancer diagnosis.
Isabel “Izzy” Rita is quite a firecracker. Her mother Sonia says she was born that way.
Fast-forward a year, when Sonia noticed something just wasn’t quite right. Izzy was having trouble turning her neck.
After a trip to the emergency room, Izzy had an MRI. It revealed a tumor in her spinal cord and from there, it was kind of a whirlwind.
Fourteen months of chemotherapy. Forty-two months of chemo infusions. All that was done to stabilize an inoperable tumor that Izzy might live with forever.
Through it all, Izzy was happy, taking it all in with a smile and a laugh.
Sonia knows there’s hope as scientists are experimenting with a treatment that has worked on brain tumors in mice.
“Some of this research is funded by Alex’s,” Sonia said. “We wonder if someday this breakthrough could be it for her and maybe someday she won’t have to live with this tumor anymore. The idea of that is mind-blowing.”
Alex’s Lemonade Foundation empowers children, regardless of whether they’ve been in treatment, know someone in treatment, or they just wanna help other kids.
And that’s what Sonia and her husband wanted for Izzy.
That empowerment has been evident in Izzy’s participation in the foundation’s “Lemon Run.”
Sonia said: “In 2015, she was just learning how to use her walker and she crossed the finish line with my husband holding her hands. In 2016, she was going to cross with her walker but she wanted nothing to do with it and so, she just crossed on her own. Then this past year, she actually crossed the finish line of the actual Lemon Run by herself, but she also participated in the “Kids Dash.” No walker, she just ran across the field and she had a blast. Nothing is going to stop this little girl from crossing every finish line thrown in her way.”
Sonia says Izzy is wise beyond her years.
On a recent daddy-daughter date night, Izzy told her dad, “You now what daddy, I think daddy-daughter date night has been a success so far.”