Katherine Sielbeck is seven-years-old, and on October 23, 2018, was diagnosed with a rare form of papillary thyroid cancer. Katherine had suﬀered with terrible leg pain for two- years that made it almost impossible to run and play. The Sielbeck family had been told Katherine had arthritis.In September 2018 a MRI revealed a large tumor on her spinal cord. Two weeks after the MRI, she had a very dangerous surgery to remove the tumor from her spinal cord. The surgery lasted over eight- hours. The neurosurgeon was only able to remove part of the tumor, removing anymore would have left her paralyzed. The pathology of the tumor showed it was papillary thyroid cancer. She had her thyroid removed in January 2019 and is currently going through experimental chemotherapy treatments and making weekly visits to the oncologist at the Costas Cancer Center at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. Katherine also has to have a MRI and PET scan every 3 months to make sure the remaining tumor isn’t getting any bigger or spreading.Katherine is the only child or adult to ever receive this type of cancer diagnosis.
Katherine has an older sister Raelyn who is fourteen-years-old, and a twin brother Michael. Katherine’s twin brother has autism, and Katherine is the biggest autism advocate you can ﬁnd.
When Katherine grows up she wants to be an occupational therapist or an ABA therapist to help other kids with autism like her brother.
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