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Current Project - No. 5: Stella Blue Woods

Background:

Stella Blue Woods is a five-year-old kindergarten student valiantly waging a battle with cancer. In September 2011, Stella Blue, who lives near Bozeman, Montana, went to the doctor with a stomachache. Tests revealed a cantaloupe-sized Wilms tumor, a type of kidney cancer that often occurs in children. The tumor was removed, but Stella's Stage 4 cancer had spread. She underwent 30 weeks of intense chemotherapy in Seattle. Doctors gave her a 30% chance to rid herself of the cancer. No one knew if she would see her fifth birthday on April 17, 2012, but she did. They brought Stella Blue home, and she started kindergarten. However, by Christmas 2012, Stella and her family were back in Seattle at the Children’s Hospital where she very recently underwent four days of chemo and then a stem cell transplant, which the hospital likens to a rebirth, if successful. None of these procedures are pain-free, but Stella fights gamely on. Care has to be taken with her one remaining kidney. Weight has been a focus throughout this process as she is tiny, and of course with the chemo and the accompanying vomiting, she has little appetite. The family is pretty much isolated now because Stella no longer can fight off any germs. If all goes well, the family will return to their home near Bozeman, Montana, by Stella's 6th birthday on April 17. However, she will NOT be able to go to school, have parties at home, or be among any crowds for TWELVE MONTHS as it will take that long for her immune system to recover.



Stella Blue before her diagnosis


Stella Blue, in the hospital after the cancer returned, still smiling!


Stella Blue and her family, L to R: Stella's father Andrew Woods, Stella's
grandmother Adele Woods holding Stella's little sister Soren, Stella's
grandfather Tom Woods, & Stella's mother Andrea holding Stella Blue. August 2012.



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Stella Blue Woods Poster