Meet Angelyna - Bone Cancer Awareness

Meet Angelyna! She was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma. What is Osteosarcoma? It's the most common type of bone cancer in children and young adults. It most commonly arises in the wide ends of long bones, such as the femur and tibia in the upper and lower leg, and the humerus in the upper arm. Though it can also occur in flat bones that support and protect vital organs, including the bones of the pelvis and the skull.

In support of #BoneCancerAwarenessWeek we talked to Angelyna and her family about their journey to help educate our community. She is a patient of NOI but we hope not for much longer! Follow Angelyna's story on Facebook for future updates. https://www.facebook.com/teamangelyna/

NOI: How did you first discover Osteosarcoma, and can you share some of the initial symptoms that were experienced or what led you to see a physician?

Angelyna's Mom: There were no symptoms. Before Angelyna's diagnosis she had hit her right knee/distal femur twice within the same week which caused a lump and swelling to occur. The pediatrician thought it was a hematoma which would go away on it's own but after a few weeks with the same "lump" a set of x-rays were ordered. That was when they advised us that a "suspicious lesion" was present.

NOI: What treatments have you gone through to make you to feel better and get you to a state of remission?

Angelyna's Mom: Her last chemo treatment was 04/08/16. She was treated with the standard Doxorubicin, Cisplatin and Methotrexate MAP. While she was in treatment her appetite decreased so I would pretty much let her eat whatever she wanted when she had cravings. Drinking a lot of fluids was vital to clearing the chemo from her system. I would give her Alkaline Water which I think helped. I also gave her beet/spinach/raspberry smoothies packed with antioxidants which I also believe helped keep her strength up.*Note: Angelyna is seeing Dr. Nassif who also specializes in Orthopedic Oncology.

NOI: Angelyna & family you are so tough! What tips do you have for other children and families going through a similar situation with cancer?

Angelyna's Mom: Never ever give up! Hanging on to hope and faith helped us get through the darkest days. It wasn't easy but I firmly believe that is what sustained us. We also had a lot of support with Family helping out with the other children and doing things around the house. Angelyna's siblings and friends also played a vital role in keeping her spirits up. While in the hospital she wouldn't like to leave her room so we had lots of arts and crafts to do but if you could get involved in the activities the hospital offers I think that helps as well.

NOI: What is your favorite activity now that you are starting to feel like yourself again?

Angelyna's Mom: Angelyna is back in school. She loves hanging out with her friends, reading, arts and crafts, riding her bike, shopping, taking care of her pets. She was never really into sports so the fact that she cannot play high-impact sports or run does not phase her [laughs]. She is strong-willed, determined and competitive so I sometimes have to remind her to take it easy.

NOI: Cancer stinks! What would you like to share with our followers that you haven't already to educate them during #BoneCancerAwarenessWeek?

Angelyna's Mom: Don't let the diagnosis determine your outcome. It's not easy, there are going to be tough days, emotional days and dark days, but if you hold onto hope and if you have faith then I firmly believe you can get through anything!

Thank you again to Angelyna's Family and to the strong Angelyna for sharing their story with us and helping to create awareness this week about #BoneCancer and #Osteosarcoma.

If you'd like to donate to Angelyna to help cover medical expenses here is a link to her GoFundMe page: https://www.gofundme.com/teamangelyna

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