‘They gave me my daughter’s life’: St. Jude helps girl fight bone cancer

Updated: Jun. 23, 2020 at 6:54 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Months of false information from their local doctor would eventually lead Nanette and her 8-year-old daughter, Paishence, to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

“I took her to the doctor for about three years straight, they continued to tell us that it was growing pains,” said Nanette.

One day, Nanette realized her daughter was struggling to pedal her bicycle.

"My leg was hurting all the time,” said Paishence.

"The next morning I took her to the doctor and they said she was having growing pains. I said, ‘not this time. You’re going to have to prove to me that’s what it is,’” said Nanette.

Doctors ordered a few tests.

"We got an X-ray and the doctor said there was a mass in my femur,” said Paishence Then, a parent’s biggest fear was confirmed. It was osteosarcoma. The most common type of bone cancer in children.

"I was upset, in shock. I was just an emotional wreck,” said Nanette.

They left their home in Mississippi and went to Memphis, where this family would experience the magic of St. Jude, firsthand.

Six major surgeries, several minor procedures, and countless sleepless nights were all met with top-notch care and comfort from world-class doctors and nurses. Paishence went through chemotherapy and a limb-salvaging surgery.

Part of her femur was removed and replaced with a prosthesis that can be adjusted as she gets taller.

"When I think about all of the things they did for me, the fact that I’m here today, and how they’re always making me smile, even though certain things were really tough. They will always have a special place in my heart,” said Paishence.

Now cancer-free, Paishence and her mother are looking forward to the future, together.

"I just love her so much. Even though I’m a teenager and kind of crazy,” said Paishence

It’s because of fundraisers like the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway that families are able to focus strictly on battling this terrible disease - while the organization takes care of their every need.

When asked if she would be able to financially provide for her daughter, Nanette says, “Not at all. They gave me my daughter’s life, and there’s no way I can repay them. The amount of money St. Jude has spent on the two of us is something that I would never manage to achieve in my whole life."

Learn more about how you can purchase a ticket for the St. Jude Dream Home and help children get the life-saving care they need.

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