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Fifteen-year-old Charly is a dancer, singer, and extremely philanthropic. She bakes for the veterans at her father’s workplace and has held many fundraisers, one of which was for underprivileged kids on her birthday. Despite being diagnosed with medulloblastoma, Charly remained an Honor Roll student through her treatment, and her family has lost count of how many times she’s donated her hair before getting radiation.
Before her diagnosis, Charly was experiencing personality changes, nausea, vomiting and headaches. Due to her results from a previous neurological exam, her family had been tracking for migraines, anxiety and depression. When Charly developed double vision, she was referred to an eye doctor who requested an immediate MRI. Fluid had built up and he saw hemorrhaging of her ocular nerve. The MRI revealed her three-centimeter tumor and the lesion in her spinal column.
After the discovery Charly was transported to Duke Children’s Hospital in North Carolina. There, her neurosurgeon successfully removed her brain tumor. She then had to receive six weeks of proton radiation therapy at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The drive was far, and Charly’s family wasn’t sure how they were going to get there. Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation stood by them when they needed it most – through the Travel For Care program, they were provided a gas card, which made the crucial trip possible.
Today, Charly is receiving chemotherapy and lab work back home in North Carolina. She and her family are looking forward to the day she receives clear scans and makes a full recovery so she can achieve her goal of becoming a social worker.
Charly’s strength and level-headedness is something to truly admire. She focuses her attention on her siblings and school. She continues to bake for the veterans. “She is the most determined young lady I have ever met,” her mother, Sarah, says proudly.
Sarah’s advice to those who may also be facing a childhood cancer diagnosis is to tell your doctors, nurses and family what you’re feeling. This is not easy and no one expects you to do anything but be honest. Even if you’re scared, tired or in pain, it is okay to share and feel all of those things at the same time.
Information provided by Sarah Davis, Charly’s mom
Updated March 2021
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