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Keeping the Faith




Submitted by:
Amy Guerich

Parker Monhollon was born on July 26, 2007, with multiple heart defects. Her parents, Danny and Amanda Monhollon, were told that she would need major heart surgery before the age of 6 months. After several tests, the Monhollons were told that Parker’s heart was doing it’s job, and that she wouldn’t need to have surgery. Parker is a vibrant, sassy, smart, and beautiful girl who loves to dance, make Youtube videos, and play with her 7 year old brother, Dominic, and her 14 year old sister, Rivers, who is also a very talented dancer. About a week before Christmas 2015, Amanda noticed that Parker had developed a very noticeable lazy eye. The school nurse also told the family that Parker was having double vision and headaches. After getting opinions from family members, they scheduled an eye exam. The optometrist suspected that the problem wasn’t Parker’s eye. He ordered an MRI and vision therapy. The MRI was done on Friday, January 15, 2016. The pediatric oncologist and pediatric intensive care physicians said that they had found a brain tumor near Parker’s brain stem. At the time they did not know what kind of tumor that they were dealing with. The next day, Saturday January 16, 2016, they found out that Parker’s tumor was a DIPG. DIPG is most common in children and is inoperable and incurable. So far there have been no survivors. Parker started radiation at St. Jude in Memphis, after traveling there for a clinical trial that was subsequently closed upon her arrival because it wasn’t working for other kids. Following 6 weeks of radiation, she traveled to Germany three different times for immunotherapy treatment. In July, right before her 9th birthday, Parker traveled to UCSF Children’s Hospital where she had surgery to drain a cyst that had developed on her tumor. No one knows what the future holds for Parker, however, she has a dedicated following and team of supporters who are helping her to fight for her life.