Penny had a persistent cough which was put down to ‘reflux’. 

Then in late October in 2014, just before Penny’s first birthday, when the family headed to the local hospital fearing she may have swallowed a toy however scans indicated Penny had a collapsed lung.

 

"The panic set in but to what extent we would never have dreamed." - Bronya, Penny's mum

Once they met the Oncology team, it was clear that their whole world was about to be turned upside down. The scans had shown a mass. The doctors weren’t yet sure what kind of mass, but neuroblastoma was the most likely form. The following days Penny had an MRI and biopsy to confirm that the doctors were correct. Once a central line was inserted into her chest, reality really set in for Levi and Bronya.

The mass was confirmed as a neuroblastoma.

Weeks later as more results came through, it was considered a ‘favourable’ tumour and Penny would not be administered chemotherapy. But there was a big issue with the tumor’s slow growing features and its location. Partially enclaving Penny’s aorta and close to her spinal canal, meant it was too risky to operate.

Without the removal of the mass, Penny must continue with regular MRI and MIBG scans to monitor the tumour and ensure that it’s not interfering with the surrounding organs. This is something that Penny will need to deal with for years to come as she continues to have routine scans to check the tumour.

Superhero Penny

Penny was a Run2Cure Neuroblastoma Superhero in 2019, three years after her diagnosis.

Penny in a white dress on a pier chasing a yellow balloon

Her parents Levi and Bronya and their community have been supporting the event for many years and helped to raise an individual fundraising record of $37,000 in 2018.

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