Young Albuquerque girl fights brave health battle
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Just by looking at her big smile, you wouldn’t believe 12-year-old Azmarel has already faced a huge health battle that many will never face.
It all started with a headache – something her parents thought was allergies.
“I was giving her Tylenol and allergy medication and I was drinking water and it was helping. The Tylenol was helping but, during the second week when that came, the Tylenol wasn’t helping and she started having nausea and vomiting and I was like, ‘That’s not right,'” said Regina Saiz, Azmarel’s mother.
Azmarel was quickly taken to her doctor, then to the emergency room. However, they couldn’t figure out what was wrong.
A week later, Azmarel started having seizures and another trip to the hospital confirmed what no parent wants to hear.
“That’s when they found the mass, a mass the size of an orange,” her mother said.
Doctors said it was an embryonal tumor with multilayered rosettes, also known as ETMR which is extremely rare.
“There’s only about 300 patients accounted for nationwide. She is, interestingly, the oldest known patient to get this tumor at 12 years old. Usually, prior to her, there’s been no documented child older than four. It normally occurs when it does occur in children less than four,” said Dr. Jessica M. Valdez, the assistant professor at UNMH’s Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Oncology.
Azmarel has now been through two surgeries. In February, doctors removed her tumor and are using it for further research.
“God did this miracle in her and she’s still here with us. She’s our miracle,” her father, Berze Yahir Molina, said.
“We’re currently working with a team in New Jersey, with an expert in this particular type of tumor and also with the team at St. Jude’s and the team in Denver at the Children’s Hospital of Colorado to really come up with a comprehensive care plan for her,” Dr. Valdez said.
It could be a big help for what hasn’t been an easy journey for Azmarel.
“It’s just really hard. When I had my first surgery, I had to relearn how to do everything,” she said.
Everything, meaning eating, drinking and walking.
The journey is still a long one as he goes into treatment but her family’s faith is still high.
“We’re going to make it, we’re not going to give up,” her father said.
Azmarel’s family has to travel out of state for her treatments, with the first stop being in Colorado. These travels usually come out of pocket, which has prompted the family to set up a GoFundMe you can find by clicking here.