Kenyah was diagnosed with bilateral retinal blastoma at 6months old. She started chemotherapy the same week that she was diagnosed. In her first year of chemotherapy she also had 5 weeks of radiation. All of this was done at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital. Six weeks after completing her first year of chemotherapy, the tumor in Kenyah’s right eye grew in size which resulted in the removal of her eye and also another year of chemotherapy. From her treatment, Kenyah has moderate to severe hearing loss. After a year of seeing different specialists, Kenyah traveled to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHoP) where she received a prosthetic eye and had several cosmetic surgeries. Kenyah rejoined classmates at school and exceeded all of her teachers expectations. Bernice, Kenyah’s mom, was so touched by the help we were able to provide her family that she volunteered to help us tell our story. She can be heard in our foundation video saying, “Not knowing how I was going to pay the bills and they [JTI] call and say it’s paid; it’s taken care of. Who does that? They [JTI] gave me back my sanity. They gave me back my belief.”
After 10 years of being out of treatment, at the age of 13, Kenyah was diagnosed with a second cancer, chondrosarcoma. Once again, JTI has been able to support them as Kenyah fights to be healthy – always with a smile on her face. In August, Kenyah underwent her first of two surgeries and, although they were successful, a third tumor grew. The new treatment plan included proton radiation however, in December, after a week of radiation treatment, another tumor was found.
Kenyah is continuing to fight. Bernice says, “for as long as she fights, we fight.” Kenyah, Bernice and all her five siblings are grateful for the support of JUST TRYAN IT.
Update February 2021. It is with great sorrow we share that Kenyah passed away in February 2020