Bailey Allen is a bright, spunky 10-year-old. Her mom, Angie, knew her baby girl would grow up to be energetic, loving and caring. She believes cancer has played a role in that.
At 6 weeks old, Angie found a lump on the bottom of Bailey’s right foot. Concerned, she took Bailey to her pediatrician who recommended that she have surgery to remove the tumor and to run tests to see if it was cancerous.
An orthopedic surgeon at Dayton Children’s initially biopsied Bailey’s tumor that was congenital fibrosarcoma of the right foot. He was able to remove the entire tumor after its size was reduced by chemotherapy. Congenital fibrosarcoma is a cancerous tumor that starts in the connective fibrous tissue found at the ends of bones of the arm or legs and then spreads to other surrounding soft tissues.
Emmett Broxson, MD, physician in the hematology/oncology department at Dayton Children’s delivered the news to Angie. Bailey’s cancer was rare; a slow growing tumor present before birth, but Dr. Broxson and Bailey's orthopedic surgeon were confident Bailey would go through chemotherapy and not have to amputate her foot.
“I did a lot of research on congenital fibrosarcoma and I wanted the best treatment for Bailey. She was my first born and only child,” remembers Angie. “I asked Dr. B if I could get a second opinion and he recommended a doctor in Columbus. The second opinion told me they would amputate her foot to be sure the entire tumor was removed.”
According to Dr. Broxson, “Bailey Jo’s cancer was an aggressive one, but it was localized and not likely to spread. He orthopedic surgeon and I didn’t think amputation was necessary.”
Angie’s gut feeling told her to trust Dr. Broxson and she decided to have Bailey treated at Dayton Children’s. Bailey went through nine months of aggressive chemotherapy and was in the hospital for many days.
“I had a lot of support from the hospital staff, my family and friends during this traumatic time. It takes special people to care for sick kids and Dayton Children’s does it best.”
“As pediatric specialists, we care for the entire family, not just the child,” says Dr. Broxson. “Most parents are scared and have lots of questions but because we work with families all of the time I think we’re really good at understanding and meeting the needs of the whole family.”
Bailey’s last treatment was December 28, 2000. She was 18 months old.
Today, Bailey is active in soccer, softball, dance and basketball. Watching her you would never know she was once a cancer patient who may have lost her right foot.
“The only thing that’s different about me is that I have one toe that’s smaller than the others,” says Bailey. “I think it’s cool to tell my story so that I can help other kids like me.”
“I think because Bailey had cancer she has become a very giving child,” says Angie.
Bailey volunteers her time every week to visit her grandma and other residents at a local nursing home. She has also donated her hair to Locks of Love and has raised money for Emily’s Beads of Courage. Emily was a local girl who lost her battle with cancer.
The Comprehensive Care Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Dayton Children's provides state-of-the-art services in oncology and hematology. For more information on our services and to learn about our pediatric cancer treatment visit our pediatric cancer center.
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