A Tribute to Carly, Mesenchymal Chondrosarcoma Survivor


Carly is a diva, a dancer, a good student, a staunch friend, a loving daughter, a silly sister, and an adored granddaughter. And she has the physical bravery equivalent to any soldier fighting a war. At 4 years old, when told that swallowing pills would not taste as bad as liquid medicine, she sat right down and swallowed 11 of them. At 10 years old, when told that a needle injected into warts would get rid of them, she clenched my hand and sat through 6 shots on 6 different occasions. She lives with chronic pain and competes in championship dance competitions without a whimper. She is beyond brave - she is stalwart: strong of body, mind and spirit.

Carly did what had to be done to fight her cancer. She learned to separate the hurt from the uncomfortable from the boring. Her hospital and clinic medicos quickly learned how to handle Carly because she let them know from the beginning how she should be treated. All children who get treated for cancer lose control over their lives, but Carly quickly learned what she could control and what she had to sacrifice.

CarlyCarly would come home between chemo treatments, and the visiting nurses would always comment that, when it came to Carly, it wasn't like visiting a sick child. As soon as she was able, she and her older sister Kelcie would fall back into their regular play routines. When treatment ended for good the transition was an easy one. Carly wanted to be treated like a normal kid and she acted like a normal kid. She did all this while in pain. It took years to get her pain levels under control, but she danced, played, and went to school during this time. A lot of people were surprised when they found out that Carly took pain meds...some still are.

Carly's cancer, mesenchymal chondrosarcoma (MCS), is very rare. The Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiative was the first to bring awareness of her cancer to the general public. Carly's family has founded a support group for her cancer, and many of the members found their way to the group by contacting the Initiative. What we don't have is a cure....we don't even have an established treatment protocol for MCS. We ask all our family and friends that pay tribute to Carly to please donate to the Initiative and designate their funds to mesenchymal chondrosarcoma research. Carly's cancer has a history of recurring to the primary site years after treatment has ended. This means that Carly will never be free of it...she is a survivor but she must be diligent in the follow-up of her cancer. Your contributions are needed and will help so many people. Thank you....

Sign Carly's Family's Guestbook

Signatures in Carly's Guestbook will appear here. Please share your thoughts!

Maria Mendonca-Costanzo 16/02/2011 10:01 am
I remember the first month of your treatment, that we all spent in the hospital. Amber da Rosa was your roommate. I her maternal grandmother. The chicken soup lady to you all. There were days that I could not tell which one was which. Especially when you both lost your hair. It was a total blessing to have been there in prayer. I have watched both of you grow over the years,in your special friendship that only survivors understand and have. I am totally blessed to know/have such heroes,in my life. You keep up the good Fight with Faith for a total Healing in Jesus name. MM
Sue and Kate VanNice 16/02/2011 02:03 am
Carly and MiMi,
We are honored to donate in Carly's name. Both Kate and Carly are true warriors and we have been in this fight together MiMi from nearly the begining of the girl's journey with this cancer. Way to go Carly, you are a beautiful girl. Keep dancing!
Sue and Kate VanNice
Lake Oswego, OR
J. Chamonix Bell 15/02/2011 10:54 pm
What a beautiful and heroic young lady. She is an inspiration to all. Sending prayers for Carly to remain NOE until she is 110 years old.

God Bless,
Chamonix Bell,
Mom to Angel Jaime Schwerin,
Tucson, AZ
Renée La Forest 15/02/2011 07:08 pm
Carly is a testament to all children who have fought this disease and determined to LIVE the lives they have been blessed with in spite of this horrendous disease.

Carly - you are a tribute to those warriors who have fought the hard fight and gone on to heaven when their their courage and will could no longer carry them. You are one of the lucky ones gifted with a bright future - may your life be long and filled with love and happiness!

God bless and thank you for sharing!

Renée & the Three Little Diggs
Paul L Marquis 15/02/2011 06:07 pm
What a BRAVE and SWEET girl Carly has become. I remember the day we were told of her illness, and she has been in my thoughts and prayers ever since. Although I am not living in the area anymore, I still think of y'all daily. Please let the Good Lord continue to watch over Carly and all her family. Y'all are a very Special and Courageous Family. I am very proud to say that y'all are my special friends. Again I ask the Good Lord to keep a place in his heart for y'all. Stay strong Carly, you are quite the young lady.

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