Age: 1 year old

Da’Mauni was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma and is one-year-old. Before cancer, she always was a kind of sour patch kid, sweet and sour! She was the happiest and most energetic little girl! She was full of energy at all times! She loved to play with her siblings and get into everything. She has a smile that would warm your heart and turn any lousy day into a great day. Da’Mauni has the cutest dimples, but you cannot let that dimple and smile fool you because she is feisty and so independent.

Her diagnosis of Neuroblastoma with it in her bone marrow was a total shock to us. We noticed Da’Mauni had a small lump on her left side, which we thought was a hernia, and took her to the doctor where we live the following day. The doctor ordered an ultrasound, and they felt it was a Wilms tumor. The doctor sent us to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. We arrived on a Thursday evening, and by Friday, we knew that she had neuroblastoma cancer and a few days later, found out it was in her bone marrow, too.

That day will forever live in our minds. Being told your baby has Neuroblastoma is by far the most horrible day we have ever experienced. She has/is experiencing excruciating stomach pain, very tired, extreme nausea, very irritable, decreased appetite, and leg weakness. Seeing your child go from happy, energetic, and always eating to some days lying in bed is so hard. The chemo is a very harsh drug; it usually makes her very nauseous and caused all her hair to come out. I often ask how chemotherapy helps, but yet be so harsh on these poor baby’s bodies.

Da’Mauni’s body is adapting more to all she is going through at this time. Neuroblastoma has impacted our family in many ways. It is hard to see her go through this, and for my other children that have had to be separated, it has not been a good situation. We have a very long and hard journey that I feel like no one should ever have to go through, especially with these babies. My kids were just as heartbroken as me, and her dad has many questions. I am trying not to keep anything from them and explain everything that she is going through.

Da’Mauni loves to crawl and get into everything and play. She loves to dance and try to sing! She likes to help the nurses, and the doctors do her check-up by messing with her central line. Da’Mauni thinks she knows how to clean her central line and tries to help them with the stethoscope. In my mind, I visualize her being in the medical profession to help babies like her when she grows up. Da’Mauni’s diagnosis is severe cancer to treat, and it quickly spreads, too. It has been hard dealing with all the symptoms and the things it causes. She still smiles and laughs, but the pain is hard to watch even for an adult. Honestly, it is enough to make you cry. If you ever see a child fight cancer, it will make your heart and mind change for a lifetime.

Written by Dalesia Jackson, mother of Da’Mauni .