Posted by Molly Grantham
CHARLOTTE (WBTV) - Thursday afternoon the first child to get a stem cell transplant in Charlotte left CMC's Levine Children's Hospital. Doctors say she's doing well, but also say she needs to get a second stem cell transplant at the end of the month.
WBTV has been following 5-year old Victoria Martinsen's story for over a year. She has an aggressive childhood cancer spread throughout her body.
When walking into her hospital room Thursday, you had to sanitize your hands, sign paperwork that you're not sick and clean every item you carried in with you. Victoria's immune system is so low, every germ counts.
But once inside the room, Victoria's personality is anything but sterile.
"What about my headband?", she asked once realizing she'd be on camera. "I need my headband." She was handed the headband and put the pink and purple accessory on her bald head.
She also showed off her princess necklace, and "transplant certificate", covered in Disney princess stickers.
Victoria has been in-and-out of the hospital for over a year. This latest stint lasted a month. Once nurses unhooked her from the poles and machines she got up and twirled around with her mom, free of tubes.
"It was really hard and difficult and it's really hard to watch your little one looking all pitiful and sick," mother Elizabeth Martinsen said, "but she's doing really well now."
But she's not out of the woods yet.
In fact, Victoria has been told she needs to come back to CMC and do this entire stem cell transplant process over again.
Doctors say TWO transplants will put Victoria in the 50-60 percent chance of success, whereas one only puts her in a 15-20 percent range.
"It's a no-brainer decision," said Elizabeth.