Meredith Rose Ruth Kreigh- the brightest light in our life who has the ability to melt our heart on the daily with her spunk, laughter, kindness, big ol' bear hugs, determination, and strength. I look into my babies’ beautiful green eyes and you know what I see? HOPE- so much incredible hope. Meredith was born March 16th, 3 weeks early. She opened her little eyes, let out a darlin scream and cuddled her mommy and daddy then proceeded to go straight into testing. You see five days before her birthday I went to have my 36-week ultrasound the last ultrasound we thought we would have. I felt like a pro at this stage of our pregnancy, but what I wasn’t prepared for was the vivid bright white mass that resembled a golf ball the tech kept going directly over and over again. I wasn’t prepared for the doctor to come in and explain that she thought our baby girl had a mass over her adrenal gland. To not freak yet but we would be the first patient of the day the next morning at maternal fetal medicine. I wasn’t prepared for the words “pediatric neuroblastoma” to come out of our high-risk doctors’ mouth. To be prepped and prepared for many many surgeries to come including an emergency c section the next day due to Meredith growing mass. Not even 12 hours into her first day of life we got the news no parent should ever have to hear- your child has neuroblastoma. The most common type of pediatric cancer. Our charlotte had just met her baby sister one of the happiest memories I will forever cherish, and it was quickly stolen from survival rate statistics, treatment plans, surgery expectations and an obscene amount of testing. We met with doctor after doctor. We just wanted her tumor out. Gone out of our miracle Meredith. Hope at this point was so far out of reach difficult to see any light. We planned and scheduled surgery at two weeks old. But after my husband and I reached out to multiple hospitals and valued multiple opinions- Mer’s treatment plan changed. As hard and terrifying as it was and still is, we chose a plan called the ‘’ watch and wait trial.” This trial is for infants who were specifically born with a mass found in utero, stating the tumor usually grows but eventually reduces smaller and smaller disappearing eventually. By 18 months if your child hasn’t had a form of metastization that survival rates jump to 97% being a a huge milestone for your child. This is when we clung HARD to Hope, and prayers loads or loads of prayer. We went from testing once a week to every ten days, a tumor that went from 3.5 cm to almost 4cm. Still clinging to every ounce of hope we could muster up. Eventually everything the doctors said came about bringing light. Meredith’s tumor began to shrink, went from a solid white round mass to a melted black and white ricey look blob. The tumor shrinking from nearly 4 cm to 1.5. Meredith is now a 22-month healthy, thriving, active little girl who is so incredibly loved. She is monitored regularly at Arnold Palmer hospital with a urine test and ultrasound. In a heartbreaking and horrible diagnosis our Meredith is the lucky one. Her doctors tell us each visit. She represents strength during hardship, and a warrior’s positive spirit. Our hope is that with donations and awareness we can help our local hospital support pediatric cancer research, Hope that children and parents going thru this horrible diagnosis have support and love from family, friends and local hospitals like we are blessed to have access too, hope for the children fighting like our Mer Bear futures, hope that no child or family has a pediatric cancer diagnosis, and most importantly HOPE FOR A CURE!
Funds raised through Arnie’s March directly benefit care for the children and families in Central Florida battling childhood cancer. The March supports the pediatric clinical trial and research program at Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children to fund crucial research efforts to fight childhood cancer.
This year, Orlando Health Arnold Palmer is participating in more than 70 clinical trials to develop more effective treatment methods to fight childhood cancer.