Chicago, Illinois. At the Lurie Children’s Hospital, 18-month-old Tessa Dante is being treated for a very rare form of cancer she was diagnosed with earlier this year.
“Tessa was diagnosed with high-risk stage IV neuroblastoma on March 31st, 2021,” a Facebook page dedicated to Tessa’s fight for cancer explains.
This is an exceptionally aggressive and rare kind of cancer for a child to be diagnosed with.
Tessa’s family shared the above photo on Facebook of her in the hospital along with the caption: “Tessa has had tumor and bone marrow biopsies, surgery for ovary preservation, central line placement, two 5 day rounds of chemotherapy, 2 neutropenic fever hospital stays, 3 blood transfusions, 2 days of stem cell harvesting. She has been such a trooper through all of it.”
“She has a grapefruit-sized tumor in her abdomen, a tumor in her right jaw, and some cancer activity in her bones and bone marrow,” the Facebook page continues.
Doctors gave Tessa’s family a treatment plan that involved tumor resection surgery, 5 rounds of induction chemo, 12 weeks in the hospital for high dose chemo, immunotherapy, and a stem cell transplant.
Tessa’s treatment should take a year and a half, and she will have to stay in the hospital for much of that time.
Tessa’s parents dedicated tons of hours looking into her rare form of cancer before they learned about Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York.
Memorial Sloan Kettering doesn’t take a standard approach to the way they treat the cancer that Tessa has.