Going Gold for Dalilah Martinez

September 14, 2016
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We are proud to feature Dalilah and her fight against cancer. Her mom, Stephanie, wrote us to tell us all about this brave warrior:

Meet Dalilah. She was diagnosed with stage 4 Neuroblastoma in November of 2012. She went through frontline therapy which includes 6 rounds of chemo, 12 days of radiation, two tumor resections, an autologous bone marrow transplant, 6 rounds of immunotherapy and 6 months additional oral chemo. She was declared NED (no evidence of disease) in September of 2013 and completed inpatient therapy in March of 2014, and just needed to do 6 more months of oral chemo.

At her usual 3 month scans in May of 2015 we found out she had relapsed so we started treatment right away. She had MANY bone lesions and one soft tissue spot that lit up on her scan. Since then we have done 10 rounds of chemotherapy and she will soon start her 11th round next week. The chemo's she has done include many from low dose cytoxan to high dose ICE, even Immunotherapy which was recently approved by the FDA to be used on children with cancer, more specifically to children with Neuroblastoma. We also had to make a trip to San Francisco to do MIBG therapy, where she was injected with a high dose of radioactive isotope and needed to be isolated for 5 days alone in her room. Dad was only allowed to go in and help to administer medications and take in her food. I was pregnant at the time so I was only allowed to watch her from a video, which was heartbreaking to say the least. We all had a breakdown, except for her.

As of today, we are on a imunotherapy/chemo combo that has been promising to most children with relapsed neuroblastoma. For Dalilah, it's kept her stable and the disease has not grown. She has had two bone marrow biopsies and even though they were from two different sites and lit up brightly on her mibg scan, the cells were normal. Yet they continue to light up. We are frustrated to say the least.

Dalilah Martinez is from East Los Angeles, lives with mom and dad and has 3 sisters. She is as vibrant as the next kid. If you seen her out in the streets, other than her bald head, you would NEVER know she has relapsed high risk stage 4 Neuroblastoma. She LOVES school, especially math. She's a whiz! I'm so happy that they allowed her to go back to school to get some sort of normalcy through this wild ride. This is why we gold in September. SHE is our reason to help people to become aware. One child diagnosed with cancer is TOO MANY! It's a major financial burden on the family, parking, gas, food, unexpected stays and while you're out trying to save your child, the world doesn't stop. Bills need to be paid, and our other children need to be tended to. With one parent working part-time, it is extremely difficult but someone it gets done. This is our story and thank you for sharing it. Let's raise awareness to find a cure!

Learn more about Delilah's fight on her Facebook page

Listen to mom Stephanie talk with John & Tammy here:

Going Gold for Dalilah Martinez