Toddler’s Sudden Behavior Change Reveals Stage 4 Cancer, Now the Mom Warns All Parents
Nicole Dodge observed unusual behaviors in her toddler. Her youngest daughter, Natalie, was using only the lower part of her arm. What Nicole didn’t anticipate when she brought her daughter to the emergency room was the shocking diagnosis of stage 4 cancer.
A mother learned that her 2-year-old girl had cancer.
When a mother Nicole Dodge first noticed her 2-year-old daughter moving her arm strangely, she never anticipated receiving the diagnosis she did. In 2022, she observed Natalie was using only the lower half of her arm. “I thought I was crazy,” she shared.
Initially, Nicole suspected it might be a shoulder injury. However, the symptoms persisted, leading them to seek medical advice.
The doctors said that Natalie presumably has cancer. Nicole recalls, “I was like, ’What?’ I felt like the rug was ripped out from underneath me.”
Natalie’s survival chance was only 50 percent.
Four days later, the Dodges received the call with Natalie’s test results. “It was high risk or stage 4 neuroblastoma. It’s MYCN amplified, which means that her type of cancer grows at 10 times the rate of regular neuroblastoma.”
Nicole expresses, “It was essentially the worst prognosis that we could have gotten. I absolutely lost it. My husband and I just went to our bedroom and sobbed. It was awful. We felt like there was absolutely no hope at that point.” Dodge shares that the oncologist informed her that even if they pursued entry into a clinical trial, Natalie’s best chance of survival was only 50 percent.
Fortunately, they found a clinic that showed a high cure rate.
When the Dodges arrived for Natalie’s appointment, their fortunes took a dramatic turn.
“Our doctor walked right in and said I have some really great news,” she says. The doctor told her about another clinic which was running studies and their survival rate is over 80 percent. And they were ready to accept the Natalie. “Our whole world just changed in the blink of an eye again,” Nicole says. “And I looked at my husband and I said, ’We have to go.’”
In under a week, Dodge and her daughter embarked on a 700-mile journey to this clinic where they spent over 10 months undergoing treatment.
Finally, little Natalie has recovered.
Finally, after the first five rounds of chemotherapy and immunotherapy, Natalie was declared “having no evidence of disease,” and she has consistently shown clear scans.
“It’s truly remarkable,” Nicole states. “I have seen other protocols at other hospitals around the world, and there are not as many kids having that NED status so early in treatment elsewhere, as I’ve seen at this clinic.”
Dodge expresses her gratitude to her family, friends, and community for their support throughout this challenging journey, and she finds solace in sharing Natalie’s story on social media, which has been therapeutic and serves as a reminder of how far they’ve come.
Another mother Kaitlin Burge whose son received a cancer diagnosis, shared a heart-wrenching photo of her son being comforted by his older sister during chemotherapy. That was more than two years ago, and after a challenging and exhausting fight, young Beckett has now fully recovered and is attending school.