Heather’s Story

My recollection of this traumatic event, is luckily from what I’ve been told by my excellent doctor’s and loving family. It was November 1988, and I was complaining of stomach ache that was accompanied by discolored bowel movements. I was taken to Children’s Hospital where my doctor recalled barely poking at my stomach and declared, this girl has a tumor. I was scheduled for immediate surgery, where the next day, with hopes of only removing the tumor, it was determined my right kidney could not be saved. The tumor was 9 pounds and consumed my entire right kidney. I was 3 years old, the tumor was the mass of a football and was approximately 1/3rd of my weight. Immediately it was determined that the cancer had already spread to my lungs. I started very high doses of Chemotherapy and Radiation treatment.

Fast forward, I did 6 month checkups until I was approx. 11 or 12 years old, at which point I began yearly checkups at Children’s. I continue to do long term follow up care at Children’s today; I will be 33 years old this May. These annual appointments are so important for the long term health and well being of cancer survivors. Today, I am a wife and mother to 3 beautiful children and I have Nationwide Children’s Hospital to thank for making my hopeful future as a child, a reality today. Thank you to the wonderful doctors, nurses, and staff for all you do!

https://flutter.nationwidechildrens.org/wp-content/uploads/gravity_forms/4-ede9f44fbfc12d4ad796078917b471d6/2018/03/Nov.1988.jpg
https://flutter.nationwidechildrens.org/wp-content/uploads/gravity_forms/4-ede9f44fbfc12d4ad796078917b471d6/2018/03/02.2018.jpg
  • Name: Heather G.Heather Graham
  • Condition(s): Wilms Tumor
  • Age at Treatment: 3
  • Age Today: 05/16/198535 Years

My recollection of this traumatic event, is luckily from what I’ve been told by my excellent doctor’s and loving family. It was November 1988, and I was complaining of stomach ache that was accompanied by discolored bowel movements. I was taken to Children’s Hospital where my doctor recalled barely poking at my stomach and declared, this girl has a tumor. I was scheduled for immediate surgery, where the next day, with hopes of only removing the tumor, it was determined my right kidney could not be saved. The tumor was 9 pounds and consumed my entire right kidney. I was 3 years old, the tumor was the mass of a football and was approximately 1/3rd of my weight. Immediately it was determined that the cancer had already spread to my lungs. I started very high doses of Chemotherapy and Radiation treatment.

Fast forward, I did 6 month checkups until I was approx. 11 or 12 years old, at which point I began yearly checkups at Children’s. I continue to do long term follow up care at Children’s today; I will be 33 years old this May. These annual appointments are so important for the long term health and well being of cancer survivors. Today, I am a wife and mother to 3 beautiful children and I have Nationwide Children’s Hospital to thank for making my hopeful future as a child, a reality today. Thank you to the wonderful doctors, nurses, and staff for all you do!

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