Office of Student Life

Katelyn W.

Katelyn's Cancer Journey:

Katelyn was diagnosed with high-risk neuroblastoma at just five years old. Undergoing chemotherapy, high-dose chemotherapy and stem cell transplant, proton radiation therapy, a special high-dose radiotherapy treatment called meta-iodobenzylguanidine (MIBG) for neuroblastoma patients, immunotherapy, and participating in several clinical studies, Katelyn also had surgery to remove the tumor. During surgery however, her abdominal aorta tore, causing traumatic bleeding and the need for emergency reconstruction. This emergency reconstructive surgery required the placement of an aortic graft and several days stay in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). Though very scary, Katelyn overcame this setback and was quickly back to her regular scheduled cancer treatments.

After several months of continued treatment, Katelyn was considered in remission. Upon completion of her neuroblastoma treatment, doctors determined that Katelyn needed a vascular reconstructive surgery known as an aorto-aortic bypass to repair the previously installed graft, along with an auto-transplant of her right kidney. This was no simple feat considering all Katelyn had already been through. But surgery was a success and Katelyn was discharged a week early after making a speedy recovery.

Less than one year later, Katelyn’s cancer relapsed. Undergoing more chemotherapy, immunotherapy, proton radiation, test, scans, pokes and prods, Katelyn proved she is a very strong girl, once again entering remission. As of today however, Katelyn’s cancer is unfortunately back for a third time, but Katelyn and her family remain hopeful as she continues treatment with her team at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. The staff is always happy to see her because of her positive attitude, sweet personality, and fancy accessories.