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Inside the fight: 5-year-old Lucy smiles through neuroblastoma treatment

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — About 43 kids are diagnosed with cancer every day. That number comes from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. 

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

Lucy Donmoyer was diagnosed with cancer in April 2020. You might remember her story from the image of people hanging signs for her on the Wolfson Children's parking garage during her initial diagnosis hospital stay. 

She is nearly a year and a half into beating the neuroblastoma that changed her everyday routine.

Lucy is currently on the 4th floor at Wolfson Children’s Hospital looking out over I-95.

“Hi Leah. I’m Lucy!” she said over Zoom.

Lucy is 5 years old. 

“I’m in Kindergarten and it’s good," Lucy said. "And I can read books.”

This is as close as I could get to meeting her in person. We connected over a Zoom from the parking lot across the street.

Story continues below. 

Credit: Jess Donmoyer

Her mom, Jessica Donmoyer, says Lucy is going through an antibody treatment. It’s four days of 20 hour long infusions of medicine each day.

“It attacks the nerve cells, so it’s painful," Donmoyer explains. "So the entire time she’s on morphine. In about two to four hours after the infusion starts, the pain starts and it’s just like everything hurts, and she screams in agony and pain.”

Lucy has five total of these treatments. This is her second one. She’ll be back nearly every month for the next six months for treatment. 

Donmoyer says the goal is to get the tumor to mature so it stops growing and Lucy can live with it inside her. Before this, Lucy went through chemo and and a bone marrow transplant in the last year and a half. Her mom says the cancer is no longer in her bones. 

"I can just look at her and cry because I love her so much," her mom said. 

You can see the blankets and pillows next to Donmoyer as she talks over Zoom. She sleeps next to her daughter’s hospital bed. Throughout our entire conversation, they both kept smiling.

“I smile because we’ve gotten her through it," Donmoyer says. Resilience and hope are a dynamic duo.

They're holding onto both.

“Bye! Nice to meet you!" Lucy says at the end of our chat.

Her birthday is on Sunday, Sept. 19. She's turning 6. 

Donmoyer says she'll be out of the hospital in time for her pool party.

If you want to give Lucy a birthday present, you can support her family through their GoFundMe account. This account is the approved account by Donmoyer herself. 

The GoFundMe has raised more than $42,000, but their goal is $50,000 to cover the costs of Lucy's treatments. Donmoyer has had to quit her job since her daughter's diagnosis to take care of her as well. All money goes toward medical and health care costs. 

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