NEWTON, NC (WBTV) - The adorable Hayley Shumate. A senior at Bandys High School.
Sixteen-year-old Hayley lives in Newton. She's the FOURTH Bandy's High School student this week with a pediatric cancer story. That's crazy.
Hayley was diagnosed with renal-cell carcinoma a day before her 16th birthday.
"A lot of the events that occurred after the diagnosis are a blur," said her mom, Tonya. "We were in the office of a pediatric urologist when they decided
to immediately admit her to the hospital. Within 48-hours Hayley was in surgery for 8 full hours trying to remove this mass."
"This mass" is a nice way of saying the beast of a tumor that had encapsulated her left kidney and had grown to a whopping 2-and-a-half pounds and 17cm
That's the size of a Nerf football. The surgery was a great success.
And this is cool… Tonya says Hayley wanted to donate "the mass" to several universities/institutes/cancer foundations studying cancer in the hopes it might help in research. So she did.
Today, Hayley is a varsity cheerleader, who feels great and hopes to attend Lenoir-Rhyne University for a degree in nursing. She likes swimming, hiking,
fishing and boating.
"And clothes," says her mom. "She has happily returned to the life of a typical teenage girl."
Her 10-year-old brother, Connor, says he's proud of his older sister. So are her mom and dad, Kenneth.
Hayley will get tested every three months. Tonya says the prognosis looks wonderful.
One reason Hayley wants to spread awareness is because she had been mis-diagnosed for several years. Doctors told her she had IBS. After all prescribed treatments failed, she sought a second opinion.
That's when they found the cancer. "Always seek a second opinion," Hayley says. "If my 'mass' hadn't been found and kept growing at the rate it was, it would've ruptured, spilling the cancerous cells throughout my entire body."
Hayley is the 19th story we've heard this month. Hopefully the Awareness is helping create ACTION. Do what you can. Spread the word. Share the stories.
Get out there and donate time, money, love… whatever.
Be original in how you help. Just know there are kids everywhere – sometimes four in one high school – who could use your attention.
*Editor's note: This is about one of September's #MollysKids, children WBTV Anchor Molly gr antham follows closely on her Facebook page. It was first published there – which is why it's written in a personal way. For years Molly has followed hundreds of kids with uphill medical battles. During Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month, she features one a day. Thirty total. Find this story (and updates on all #MollysKids) here.