Happy Wednesday loves!
Today I want to share a bit of a personal story with you… about the strongest 9 month old I’ve ever met :)
Earlier this year, one of my former elementary school classmates, Paris, gave birth to a beautiful little girl, Sydney!
I loved keeping up with her via instagram and seeing her smiling face :) I then learned that she had been diagnosed with cancer at just 6 months old!
Despite her diagnosis and treatment, I was moved by the fact that Sydney always had a smile on her face and I know her pleasant disposition is helping her loved ones get through this tough time.
Let’s meet this beautiful and strong little girl, Sydney!
As told by her mom, Paris:
“I had a wonderful pregnancy and near effortless delivery. Syd was born on January 30, 2013 a healthy 7 pounds 1 oz. She has always been a joyful and sprited baby, smiling since we brought her home!
When she was 6 months we noticed her belly was a bit firm and she had developed a dark mark under her eye. We scheduled a check up with her primary care physician and after being seen, Syd was immediately sent to Children’s National Medical Center. She underwent several tests and was later diagnosed with stage 4 Neuroblastoma.
Sydney has a cancerous tumor in her abdomen and the cancer had spread to her liver and into her bone marrow. She was classified as intermediate risk which luckily means she could be treated as an outpatient. This diagnosis was a lot to take in. We were devastated. The pain associated with having a sick child hurts deeper than any physical pain I’ve ever experienced.
A couple of weeks after diagnosis, Sydney began her first round of chemo. Throughout this ordeal she has undergone several procedures, surgeries, and tests. She undergoes chemotherapy every 3 weeks and takes medication weekly to keep her vitals under control. Syd continues to reach and exceed all milestones! Still very bright and is always smiling. We call her Goldie or Blondie because she has beautiful blonde hair like her grandma "Meta” whom she’s named after (middle name). The chemo has caused most of her hair to fall out but shes still as gorgeous as ever.
Neuroblastoma is a cancer that affects infants and children worldwide. It’s not genetic or caused by environmental factors. I encourage you to become aware and support. Today Sydney is doing well and is still undergoing treatment, but if you ask her, she’s just enjoying life :)“
After becoming aware of Sydney’s story, my heart truly went out to the family and I had to share her story. I know firsthand how difficult it is when a close family member has cancer as my dad fought prostate cancer a few years back… I can only imagine how much more it is to deal with when it’s a baby!
Despite all of the procedures, surgeries, and tests, Sydney is able to smile through it all! Truly showing the strength she possesses, even at such a young age. I had such a fun time photographing Syd and fell in love with her infectious smile and beautiful bright eyes!
Although Syd has shown remarkable strength, there is more that needs to be done. Due to the high cost of cancer treatments, a small family can’t afford to cover it all, but a community can. Paris is a part of the DFinney community and we are a family so let’s show her our support!
If you would like to make a donation (no amount is too small) to help Sydney with her cancer treatment it would be greatly appreciated. Lets help raise awareness of Neuroblastoma and share Sydney’s story with your family and friends. This family needs your help and you can play a vital role in aiding Sydney fight this cancer. If you’re able to make a donation please visit: http://www.gofundme.com/3vcsu0
I hope you enjoyed getting to know Sydney better and I look forward to seeing her grow and photographing her again the years to come!