Liv, a busy and curious 13-year-old, can recite the numbers of pi up to 50 digits. She can also recognize an icosagon, or 20-sided shape. She’s an artist, a published author and is learning Chinese. Liv agrees that she has accomplished many things in her young life, but beating cancer was a life-changer.
Her health journey began in the summer of 2016, between kindergarten and first grade. Liv was enjoying her week at a local swim camp when her stomach began to ache. At first, she passed it off as simple tummy troubles, but when the pain intensified her doctor recommended she get an X-ray. Liv was a healthy and happy kid, so her family was sure all was well. Images, however, revealed a different story. There was a large mass in her stomach that turned out to be a Wilm’s tumor, a rare kidney cancer that primarily affects children. Liv was quickly admitted to Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego, where surgeons removed the tumor and kidney.
She recovered from the surgery relatively quickly and was able to start her chemotherapy treatments at the Peckham Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Rady Children’s. While in treatment, she attended school part-time and lived a relatively normal life. After six long months of chemotherapy, she received wonderful news. Liv was done with chemotherapy and could begin the recovery process.
Throughout her journey, Liv kept a positive attitude. She often joked with the nurses during treatment, created art for other patients at the hospital, and even co-authored her first novel where she contributed to the writing and illustrations.
Since her final round of chemo in early 2017, Liv has returned to Rady Children’s a dozen times for various tests and scans. While the reason for being there is a challenging one, the team at Rady Children’s always made the experience as positive as possible. Liv will continue her periodic scans for the next few years to ensure the cancer never returns.
Today Liv leads an incredibly active and rich life. She is passionate about art, writing, coding, volleyball and spending time with friends and family. One of her greatest passions is art which she pursues through presenting and selling works at festivals and shows around San Diego. She loves to donate much of the proceeds to Rady Children’s to help other kids like her.
“I am so thankful for the wonderful care I received at Rady Children’s. It is a blessing to have this incredible institution in our backyard,” says Liv.
The Peckham Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders provides specialized cancer treatment and hematology services— including blood and bone marrow transplants – to more than 20,000 patients each year. The Center offers families a full range of pediatric clinical services, including psychosocial programs and resources, to help patients and their families from diagnosis through treatment and beyond. Philanthropic support helps Rady Children’s focus on both groundbreaking research and innovative treatments while providing compassionate care for patients like Liv.
To learn more about cancer and hemotology services at Rady Children’s, and to support patients like Liv, visit rchsd.org/programs-services/cancer-blood-disorders.