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....

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