4-Month-Old Girl Beats Brain Cancer, Rings End-of-Treatment Bell at Oakland Hospital

Local News

A baby girl recently rang the bell at an Oakland children’s hospital after beating cancer at the tender age of just 4 months old.

Lillian Grace Borden was born on Sept. 5, 2019. She was a beautiful, and seemingly healthy, baby girl. To her parents, she was perfect.

But according to a GoFundMe account by her mother, Shari Borden, the parents noticed something was off with baby Lily. She wasn’t moving her limbs quite right.

An MRI was then ordered and doctors spotted something on her brain stem. By then, Lily’s  breathing had become compromised ,so she was sent to a neonatal intensive care unit and placed her on a breathing tube and gastric feeding tube, according to her mother.

Borden said that no one had ever seen an MRI quite like it, so the Nevada couple consulted with UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland. Arrangements were made, and Lily and her mother were flown to Oakland on a medical transport plane.

“By the time of her next MRI, just days later, the tumor was larger and now ran from her brain stem down her spinal cord to below her shoulders,” Borden said.

The tumor was inoperable and growing aggressively—but they proceeded with a biopsy. The results indicated the tumor was an aggressive stage 3-4 malignant glioma. Doctors said surgery simply wasn’t an option because of its location.

Lily’s family found a tiny ray of hope, however. They learned of a recently approved targeted chemotherapy for tumors of a certain genetic makeup, but they needed to act fast if there was to be any chance of saving Lily.

After a round of general chemo, her parents got the go-ahead to put her on the new, targeted kind of chemotherapy.

And it worked. Three weeks later, Lily’s tumor was gone.

A crowd gathered as infant — with the help of her parents — rang the end-of-treatment bell, signifying that she was cancer-free, the hospital tweeted on Wednesday.

“We can finally exhale,” her mother said, according to the tweet.

The family has since headed home to Nevada.

To donate to the family’s GoFundMe, click here.


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