By Nipa Desai
“On May 14, 2013, my ten-year-old daughter, Saloni, was diagnosed with brain cancer.
Nobody wants to say the word cancer. In my family and my husband’s family, nobody has had cancer. It was very difficult to accept. We live a very healthy lifestyle. I wondered where this came from.
Saloni will finish a 72-week treatment protocol in October. Her care has been exceptional at Dell Children’s Medical Center. Her doctors give us so much hope and confidence. They told us not to give up.
Saloni is a fighter. Cancer has brought strength to my daughter.
Through her treatments, she has never stopped going to school. The principal, teachers, nurse and students work as a team to help keep Saloni well. The kids disinfect their desks and avoid Saloni if they are sick. She loves school and has kept up with all her school work. She gets her work ready and works around her treatments. She is on top of it. Someday she wants to be an occupational therapist or a meteorologist.
Saloni says, ‘I can be a mentor for others.’ Before getting sick, she was quiet. Now she’s more talkative and social. Last month, she met a mom in the CBCC whose child had a similar brain tumor. Saloni gave her tips, ‘Tell him to do this and not to do that.’ The mother was happy to receive her advice.
When her treatment is over, I’ll say thank you to God. Her birthday is November 25th and we’ll have a great big 12th birthday party for her. We have so much support from family and friends. I will say thank you to anyone who called, visited us or who was thinking about us during this time.
I’m learning a lot from my daughter, like how to deal with frustrations. Saloni says, ‘learn to ignore it, let it go.’ A ten-year-old child telling me this – she has taught me a big life lesson and makes me proud.”