Meet Jamela: 2017 Speak Now for Kids Family Advocacy Day Hero

Excerpted from Lurie Children’s Blog

Jamela, 6, loves singing, dancing, and eating ice cream sandwiches. “She can make anyone smile and is always happy. She’s got quite the outgoing personality,” says Tangela, Jamela’s mom. When Jamela didn’t stop complaining about constant leg pain, Tangela knew something wasn’t right. “I took her to the pediatrician, to a near-by emergency room, and each time they told me maybe she’s just sore from ballet, it’s behavioral or it’s growing pains,” says Tangela. Something was telling Tangela that it wasn’t just soreness from Jamela’s dancing. She persisted to find answers.

Easter Sunday 2016, while at her grandmother’s house, Jamela’s leg pain became increasingly worse. Tangela brought her to Rush University’s Emergency Room. An ultrasound was performed and blood work taken and results found nothing out of the ordinary.

rsz_ann___robert_h_lurie_childrens_hospital_of_chicago_anthony_jamela.jpg“The next day at school her teacher called me and told me I needed to come get Jamela and take her back to the emergency room. That her pain was even worse. I needed answers,” says Tangela.

Jamela was diagnosed with an atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor (ATRT), a highly aggressive, rare brain tumor that can occur anywhere in the central nervous system including the spinal cord. Shortly after diagnosis, oncologists at Rush referred Jamela to Stewart Goldman, MD, Head of Cancer and Blood Disorders at Lurie Children’s.

Because of this Jamela is required to spend a great deal of time at the hospital. She is doing very well but will be followed by Oncology Team at Lurie Children’s for many years. Jamela aspires to be pediatric oncology nurse when she grows up.

Help us welcome Jamela to Washington, D.C.!!!

To read more about Jamela’s journey, please visit All For Jamela on Lurie Children’s Blog

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