Childhood Cancer Heroes

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Allison Petrenas

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Allison is a smart, beautiful, kind young lady. She loves baking and making special treats like chocolate covered pretzels, cupcakes, cookies and more. She enjoys spending time with her friends and watching her little brother play baseball. But her personality truly comes out when she is dancing on stage as a competitive dancer.  

In 2020, Allison started to notice in dance class that she was not able to move her left leg and ankle like she used to. Her family took her to orthopedists and neurologists, all the while she was getting worse and unable to walk normally. Finally, her family chiropractor sent Allison for an MRI of her brain. On September 15, 2020, the MRI showed an orange-sized tumor on her brain and they were immediately sent to the emergency room at Cohen Children's Hospital. 

Allison had an eight-hour long brain surgery to remove the meningioma. They could not remove the part that was on the main vein of her brain. She received intense proton radiation for six weeks, five days a week, where she lost the hair on the top of her head.  
 
She is her family’s hero. With all she has been through, she has always had a positive attitude and her faith in God has only grown stronger. Her strength is truly admirable. Despite the difficulties, she has persevered and never stopped working to gain her strength back in the left side of her body. Even though she knew she was not at her best, she performed on stage for the first time since her surgery in March.  

Her family’s hope is that she lives a long and heathy life. They know she will forever have to worry about the meningioma growing back, but they want her to be able to dance and do whatever it is that she dreams of.  

Allison’s mom, Anne, wants others to know that this is a long, rough journey with ups and downs. “However,” she said, “always be positive and appreciate the little things around you. Ask for second opinions and lean on others for support.” 

To her, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) is hope that a cure will be found in the future. “ALSF makes it known that we are not fighting alone. We stand together and will do whatever we can to help find a cure.” 

Hero quote: “Every day, I hoped and prayed I would be able to dance again. I thank God, my parents, my doctors, and all the people who have prayed for me through this journey.” 

Information provided by Anne P., Allison’s mom 
Updated September 2021 

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