Today I'm Cancer-Free

October 08, 2019

Kidney Cancer Survivor Elia

Elia's family took her to the emergency room with a bad tummy ache. Her doctors at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital determined Elia had a Wilms tumor in her right kidney.

It had spread dangerously close to her heart too.

"Her tumor was too big and vast to remove," said Hanif Iftikhar, MD, director of pediatric hematology oncology.

So Elia's care team started her on chemotherapy to shrink the tumor.

"Once it shrunk down, I was able to safely remove the tumor in addition to the kidney," said pediatric surgeon Jill Whitehouse, MD.

Elia spent months in additional treatment. Today, she's cancer-free.

"At first I felt scared, but there are friends all around here. They made me feel good," Elia said.

Her family is grateful for how the entire Joe DiMaggio team embraced them.

"They were just there to support us in good times and bad times," said Melanie, Elia's mom.

Dad Chris said: "That was essential — to have the trust, that team dynamic and how everyone felt like they were there for you."

Elia is Cancer-Free Thanks to Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital

Elia is Cancer-Free Thanks to Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital

Child with arm around older male in hospital gown

You can make a difference.

Donate to the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Foundation.