Childhood Cancer Heroes

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Zoey Markward

  • Neuroblastoma

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Zoey loves Disney movies, gymnastics, dance, singing, and animals. At nearly 4 years old, she demonstrates a lot of attitude and sass (mainly in the form of bossing around her little sister, Dylan) but she is full of life and a very happy little girl! 

In May 2019 Zoey was diagnosed with stage 4S neuroblastoma. The diagnosis meant her cancer would essentially go away on its own without treatment, however, a scan in June 2021 showed that the cancer had progressed. Suddenly, Zoey had stage 4 high-risk neuroblastoma and she went from needing zero treatment to the most aggressive protocol available. 

Zoey underwent six rounds of chemo, MIBG therapy, 12 days of double dose radiation, and five immunotherapy rounds which spanned about 14 months. She is currently on a neuroblastoma vaccine trial through Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center which consists of a series of shots over three years. 

Zoey is a hero to her family. She has gone through horrific things that no human, much less any 2-to-3-year-old, should ever be subjected to. But even in the trenches of her worst days, she would always muster a smile and her goofy personality would peek through. There were a lot of things she didn't like about treatment (especially shots), but she trusted her family to be brave, and her strength got her and them through everything. 

“After missing school, friends, family, any semblance of normalcy for over a year, and suffering from permanent high-frequency hearing loss in both ears, as well as the scars all her "equipment" left on her body, I am impressed how well Zoey has adjusted back to life as a "normal" kid,” said Meyli, Zoey’s mom. “If I'm having a bad day or just need some motivation, I can always look to Zoey and what she has been through, and always know I can turn my day around.” 

Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) means a lot to Zoey’s family because of how severely underfunded pediatric cancer research is. “I know they are always providing fun ways to raise money and awareness for a cause so dear to my heart,” said Meyli. This was also the reason she started her small shop Zoey's Boweys. “I hand-tie hair bows for girls and donate a portion of profits to pediatric cancer quarterly on behalf of Zoey. To date, we have donated over $35,000. My hope is that the money Zoey's Boweys and amazing organizations such as ALSF help raise will provide better, safer, less-toxic treatment options for kids in the future.” 

Information provided by Meyli M., Zoey’s mom 
Updated January 2023

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