age 7 | diagnosed with High-Risk Hepatoblastoma
Submitted by Wendy:
Gracie Phillips of Churchville, VA was diagnosed 6/15/2018 with High-Risk Hepatoblastoma at age 4.
Hepatoblastoma is a rare childhood cancer involving the liver. It accounts for roughly 3% of childhood cancer diagnoses. She had just finished preschool and playing T-ball a few weeks before her diagnosis. Her symptoms were a low-grade fever and fatigue! Gracie started her treatment at UVA June 20, 2018. On October 12, 2018, after completing 4 cycles of chemotherapy she received a Liver Transplant at UVA. Her liver Transplant was the first done at UVA with Pittsburgh partnership involving her cancer diagnosis.
On what should have been her last cycle in January 2019 a spot was found on her lung. A biopsy was performed and the spot was removed from her lung. It was found to be hepatoblastoma also. She had to start a new 6 cycle protocol of different chemotherapy drugs. While fighting the cancer with chemo, she also battled liver rejection in the spring of 2019. Her UVA & UPMC (Pittsburgh) teams worked very hard to correct her rejection and are being controlled at this time! Her scan in September 2019 showed no evidence of disease but due to her cancer being rarer, she started a 2-year "maintenance program" at that time.
Even though she had chemotherapy scheduled every 21 days, she was able to complete kindergarten and first grade at Churchville Elementary. Gracie has continued to smile and show great strength, faith and bravery thru it all. Her last "Maintenance" chemo cycle will be September 9, 2021. She will ring the bell that day! 🎗 She will be scheduled for a post-treatment scan soon after. Gracie will also have a hernia repair which was a result of her liver Transplant but needed to be finished with chemotherapy first. She loves dolls, barbies and coloring. She has a HUGE heart and LOVES animals. Gracie enjoys being outside and even hunting. She wants to be a veterinarian or a nurse when she grows up.