“She fell asleep one day and woke up [the next day] and couldn't do the things that a normal child could do.” On April 8, 2013, one week after Lamya’s sixth birthday, she and her family received news that would affect their lives forever. Lamya had medullablastoma, a brain tumor.
Her family knew something was wrong. For two months, Lamya was treated for sinus infection with antibiotics. She was still getting sick. She still had the same symptoms. On Monday, April 8, 2013, an MRI was finally ordered. That afternoon the results were in; Lamya had a brain tumor on her cerebellum the size of lime that had been blocking her passage way for the spinal fluid to go up the spine and around the brain. The next day they traveled to Omaha to prepare for surgery. On April 10, 2013, Lamya underwent surgery to remove all of the tumor. They were successful.
The day after her surgery was tough. Lamya wouldn’t open her eyes. She wouldn’t talk. She couldn’t walk. She wouldn’t react. A terrifying situation, would she ever be back to her normal self? For the next two weeks, Madonna Rehabilitation was their home as Lamya was learning how to walk, talk and just be a kid again.
“It was like watching your one-year-old take their first steps all over again,” said Lamya’s mom, Renee. Lamya and her family finally asked to go home. They needed familiar faces; they needed some normalcy before what was quickly coming in a couple weeks – radiation.
The next six weeks of radiation were tough. Lamya quit eating; she quit drinking. She was throwing up all the time. Eventually she began to lose her hair.
Finally there was a break. After the radiation process, Lamya and her family were six weeks free of treatment. She began to be her normal self again. Lamya was a normal kid enjoying a wonderful summer.
In August 2013, chemotherapy began. “We missed half of her first grade year, because we were in the hospital so much,” said Renee. Admitted into the hospital on Tuesday and released on Friday. Chemotherapy Tuesday night, Wednesday night and Thursday night. Due back on Tuesday again. At first, her medication and steroids increased her appetite, but eventually she wouldn’t want to touch anything.
“During chemo, I couldn't do all the stuff that I wanted too. I couldn't do softball, I couldn't ride my bike, I couldn't play, I couldn't run, I couldn't skate,” said Lamya.
The end of January couldn’t come fast enough. Finally, in February 2014, Lamya had her last admittance into the hospital. Her and her family could go home. Go back to normal.
Lamya attended her last few months of first grade, but ended up repeating first grade. Since doing treatment, all of her MRIs have been NED, which means no evidence of disease. “We finally could breathe because we knew there was no cancer in her body,” said Lamya’s mom.
Now, two years later, Lamya is being a kid because that’s all she ever believed herself to be. “If you have brain cancer, believe and believe that you can be strong and you can have fun and believe you don't die cause your mom and your dad are always with you.”
Lamya had an MRI in March 2017 that showed no evidence of disease. She is still currently cancer free.