Each week, Fourth and Gold will highlight a cancer warrior who has bravely and fiercely stood strong against cancer. At Fourth and Gold, we want you to see the faces behind our drive and connect with them in a way that you wouldn’t have been able to if you didn’t take the stand to demand #MoreThan4! Our precious kids have cancer, but cancer is not who they are.
Week of March 24, 2018
Warrior girl, Nora Zelko, aka miss warrior princess, was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma at BIRTH, who later relapsed and is now considered stage 4 high risk neuroblastoma.
Current Age: 2, DOB 10/23/15
Favorite things to do: All things Disney, especially the Disney princesses and Minnie, being a little performer and singing/dancing, Nora adores her mommy and her big brother Jackson
Favorite foods: Scrambled eggs, bagels, turkey bacon, Larabar bites, strawberries, and no whey chocolate
If you know her you know that she: Is a warrior princess! Nora loves to make people smile and is constantly smiling, despite all that she has been through. Music therapy has been a safety net for Nora and has been the prime thing to get her through treatments. Nora absolutely loves to sing, especially in the car. Add in her big brother Jackson for a backup singer, and it’s the perfect day!
What you cannot see here is that Nora:
- Had an adrenalectomy at 2 months old
- Has undergone 17 radiation treatments to her head, 12 radiation treatments to her old adrenal gland spot
- Has endured through 2 bone marrow biopsies, 6 rounds of chemo, 2 stem cell transplants
- Has had to have 11 MRIs, 8 MIBG Scans, 10 ultra sounds, 3 CT scans
- Has been to clinic and the hospital for countless blood draws and transfusions, surgery to get her central line replaced
- Is currently in cycle one of immunotherapy
- Nora still has 5 cycles of immunotherapy left with 6 PICU stays
While we love letting you see the strength, the personality and the endurance little Nora has, we want you to know the unfair reality that is childhood cancer. Nora has experienced more in her short 2 years of life than most adults will ever have to endure. Nora has lost all of her hair, she’s had intense stays in the ICU and she is constantly on the go. Like most 2 year olds you know, Nora wants nothing more than to be home with her family, especially big brother Jackson. The majority of her life has been spent inside of 4 walls in a hospital.
Not only is childhood cancer unfair, the TREATMENT is unfair. Many, many children suffer more from treatment than they do from the actual cancer, whether it’s during treatment or 5 years down the road. Our government only providing 4% of all research funding to childhood cancer is unjust. We exist at Fourth and Gold because our government doesn’t believe your child is worth more than 4%. As humans, we must do better. Please join the fight against childhood cancer and demand #MoreThan4, for children like Nora and for children who have yet to learn of the battle they will be facing.