About Izzy's Infantry
When a One-Year-Old Becomes a Warrior...
Isabel, who her family and friends have dubbed Izzy Warrior Princess for her tremendous fight, was always a little firecracker. She was observant and bright-eyed from the moment she was born. For her family, Izzy’s first year of life was the typical 12 months of bliss watching a baby grow and explore the new world around them. As Izzy's family prepared to celebrate her first birthday, they fantasized of what the next year would bring: walking, talking and everything that comes with a curious toddler. But none of that was in the cards for Izzy.
A week after her first birthday, her parents noticed stiffness when Izzy turned her head. After a few tests and a few nights in the hospital, an MRI revealed the tumor wrapped around her spinal cord that spanned from the base of her head through halfway down her back.
She underwent a 10-hour spinal cord surgery to biopsy the tumor and enlarge her spinal canal to relieve the pressure the tumor was causing on her spinal cord and nerves. The surgery and the tumor left Izzy unable to sit up on her own and with weakness especially on the left side of her body. She began physical and occupational therapies to regain strength and learn how to crawl and walk.
While beginning to tackle her rehabilitative therapies, at just 14 months old, Izzy also began her first of 42 chemotherapy infusions to keep the tumor from growing. The chemo wreaked havoc on her little body, which led to hair loss, a weakened immune system requiring a blood transfusion, a number of gastrointestinal issues, and neuropathy in her extremities. The effects of the chemo made physical and occupational therapies that much more challenging, but through it all she always found a way to be a playful and happy little toddler.
She inspires those her know her daily to face challenges head on and to help others. True to her fighting spirit, Izzy even took her first independent steps the day before her last chemo infusion!
Izzy still has a long road to recovery because the tumor, while stable and not growing, is still wrapped around her spinal cord still making it difficult for her to walk and do other things typically developing children her age do. Izzy works hard every day and shows the world the true nature of grace in the face of adversity and what it means to never give up.
We hope to continue Izzy's work through our mission:
- Fund research that will lead to better treatment options and a cure for childhood cancer;
- Fund rehabilitation programs for children recovering from a spinal cord injury;
- Help improve the quality of life for children in treatment and their families through outreach programs and support groups.