Meet Kealy: 2022 Family Advocacy Day Champion
Kealy is participating in Speak Now for Kids Family Advocacy Day from June 12-14. Through this event, Kealy and her family will discuss her health journey, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital’s role in providing her with necessary health care services, and why the public and our elected officials must invest in the future of patients like Kealy.
Kealy’s parents were giving her a bath when they found a tiny bump on her skull. They took her to a pediatrician and were told to keep an eye on it. Once they noticed changes, they were referred to a pediatric neurosurgeon and scheduled the next day for tumor removal.
“Immediately after the tumor removal we knew it was not a good diagnosis,” says Kellie, Kealy’s mom. Kealy was diagnosed with a stage 4 neuroblastoma at 10 months old.
“It was very hard and affected the whole family,” says Kellie.
“We were pregnant with our son at the time as well. A whole lot of emotions happened over the course of the few months of treatment.”
The skull lesion was removed and a Broviac catheter was put in. Kealy went through five rounds of chemotherapy and had a mass removed from her abdomen. Then, she had two rounds of high dose chemotherapy and 14 consecutive days of radiation therapy. She then had another surgery on the skull lesion to make sure it healed properly.
After all of this, she had to see the doctor twice per week and had four immunotherapy sessions.
Today, Kealy is an active 4-year-old. She is back to normal activities and has few limitations, she still has a calcified area around her liver and has to complete scans every four months. She likes dressing up as a princess, putting on makeup and watching “Peppa Pig.”
“All of the staff and doctors took great care of us and treated us like family,” says Kellie. “They treated Kealy like she was their child, and we always had a point of contact.”