- Special Sections
- Public Notices
Doctors helping an Elizabethtown girl fighting cancer think they were able to remove her entire tumor during surgery Wednesday, a family member said.
Brooklyn Disselkamp, 18 months, still has treatment and recovery ahead of her, but family members were pleased with the lengthy surgery and support they have received from the community.
Brooklyn was diagnosed with Stage 4 neuroblastoma – a pediatric cancer that creates tumors in the body and tumor cells in bone marrow.
After five rounds of chemotherapy, she was approved for a surgery that began Wednesday morning and lasted 10 hours as doctors worked to extract a large tumor that wound around many nerves, said Doris Disselkamp, Brooklyn’s grandmother.
“They were pretty sure that they got it all in one piece, which is wonderful,” she said.
Brooklyn’s family members waited together at Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville during the surgery, using an iPad to keep up with a flood of well wishes that came in through social media.
The day of the surgery was named Brooklyn’s Day by various area supporters and organizations.
Knowing the community was thinking about and praying for Brooklyn helped during those hours of waiting, Doris Disselkamp said.
“It’s really a gift to be a part of this and to see how many people are caring,” she said.
Brooklyn’s family continued to stay with her Thursday, as she remained sedated in the intensive care unit to lessen her pain. Doctors plan to wean her off a breathing tube that was put in because the surgery was so long, Doris Disselkamp said.
Brooklyn and her parents are doing well, though the fight isn’t finished, she said.
Once Brooklyn has recovered, she’ll have to go through more chemotherapy and receive at least one stem cell transplant, using cells taken from her during the early days of treatment, to help replace bone marrow.
Brooklyn then will have to be in isolation because of her diminished resistance to sickness, Doris Disselkamp said.
“She still has a lot of treatment coming, but we’re just elated that they think they got it all,” she said.
Continued community support will help the family during the rest of Brooklyn’s fight, she said.
“We know so many people are out there praying,” she said.
Amber Coulter can be reached at (270) 505-1746 or firstname.lastname@example.org.