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Adeline's Story

Malignant Rhabdoid Tumor

No Evidence of Disease

The war on cancer for Adeline began on September 2nd, 2015. Initially Adeline was diagnosed with acute pneumonia and life flighted from Bozeman Deaconess to St. Vincent's in Billings. Every parent’s nightmare occurred shortly after arriving in Billings where a CT scan revealed a softball sized tumor in her chest. Her parent’s world came crashing down around their ears as they learned that the tumor had completely disabled their daughter’s left lung and was putting pressure on her heart and major arteries. Adeline was immediately flown from Billings to Children’s Hospital in Aurora, Colorado, where she began the fight of her life.

Adeline was diagnosed with Malignant Rhabdoid Tumor which originated from the thymus gland in her chest. MRT is one of the rarest childhood cancers known today.Only about 20 children a year are diagnosed worldwide. Adeline’s first battle was to escape the confines of the PICU where she and her parents lived for 3 weeks making sure that she was able to breath and that her heart could function while the doctors on her team strategized over the best possible course of action. That course ofaction required some of the most powerful and side-effect ridden chemotherapies available in the arsenal of the Oncologists at Children’s Hospital. These chemotherapies all but turned the spot of sunshine that Adeline was into a shadow of herself. After the first cycle her vitals stabilized, her breathing improved and she was allowed to travel up four floors to the Oncology floor. The first three treatments shrunk the tumor by over 78% and a partial resection was completed on November 23rd to remove the bulk of the remaining tumor. During her workup for a bone marrow transplant in January it was discovered that the tumor had grown during a two-week lapse between chemo treatments. It went from being a thin postage stamp clinging to an artery near the lung to the size of a golf ball piercing her left lung. The bone marrow transplant procedure was cancelled, and Adeline began emergency chemotherapies on January 13th, her 3rd birthday, to get back in front of the aggressive cancer. The next three rounds were able to shrink the tumor enough that the bone marrow transplant team was willing to proceed. Unfortunately, the transplant took an even more devastating toll on her body and she spent many nights in the PICU on life support and fighting for her life against the side effects of the rigorous treatments meant to save her life. Her parents were told several times they had to say good bye to their daughter, yet Adeline continued to defy the odds time after time. She completed 31 days of radiation that took two months because her treatments had to be paused numerous times due to more stays in the intensive care unit. Her last treatment was in July of 2017, and she has been cancer free ever since.

Adeline is a sweet, loving, kind, fun and intelligent little girl who has an extreme fondness for her brother, Deklan, who was a great gift of hope born during their battle in Denver. She is a huge Star Wars fan and her Dad is very proud of the fact that she can tell anyone what color of lightsaber a Jedi has in any of the Star Wars movies and can name characters just by their lines. She loves to go to the park, collect rocks to paint, dance and sing with her family. She has a smile that could melt the polar ice caps. Her body continues to heal and although there are signs of the battle she has fought; her spirit continues to shine even brighter. She is a wonderful and spirited little girl. But perhaps her most important traits are her steely resolve and unbreakable strength. She has shown the utmost courage in the face of unbelievable terror and she is ferociously strong willed. She continually proves her doctors, nurses, and parents wrong on a daily basis as she out fights anything thrown at her.  She is thriving in kindergarten and is currently taking ballet and gymnastics. 

www.caringbridge.org/visit/addigengenbacher