Childhood Cancer Heroes

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Fernanda Mariscal

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Growing up in a house with three brothers can get a little crazy, but Fernanda never loses her joyful spirit. At 7 years old, she spends most of her time outside swimming or riding her bike. She faces life with a positive attitude, and ever since she began battling Wilms tumor, Fer has become the definition of resilience.

In January 2021, Fer’s family noticed a strange lump in her stomach. They knew she needed medical attention, and soon Fer was diagnosed with cancer. Suddenly, her whole world changed. Fer’s family knew that the best help she could receive was far from their home in Mexico City, so they packed their bags and headed for Texas. It wasn’t easy leaving behind all of their family and friends, but they knew Texas Children’s Hospital was Fer’s best option.

She began treatment with a couple of procedures. Fer underwent a radical nephrectomy of her left kidney – meaning a complete removal of the organ. Next, they needed to extract the tumor, which had reached nearly two pounds in weight. After fifteen rounds of chemotherapy, Fer’s family remains hopeful that she will be done with treatment very soon.

Her family dreams of Fer and other childhood cancer heroes having a chance at leading a more normal life after cancer. They want to see her reach every goal and chase every dream in her heart. They hope to see her grow into an amazing young woman who knows her purpose. To her family, Fer’s strength makes her the ultimate hero. She taught them how to live in the moment without fear of the future, and they know she can conquer anything with a great attitude and a sense of serenity.

Fer’s mom, Mariana, wants other families like hers to know that there is always hope. The journey is difficult, but you are not alone. Her advice is, “live with as much joy, gratitude and attitude as possible, even when it feels impossible.” She believes it is important to maintain hope because kids often look to their parents for guidance.

Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation allowed Fer’s family to honor her with a walkathon. The event acted as a fundraiser for childhood cancer research projects. This way, their loved ones in Mexico could show their support while Fer is in Houston. Even while they are apart, Fer’s unstoppable attitude inspires others no matter the distance.

Information provided by Mariana, Fer's mom

Updated July 2021

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