After experiencing a mild cough for a week and fast, labored breathing, Brynn’s parents took her to the ER in December 2018 where doctors found a very large mass filling the right side of her chest. Because the mass was so big, it was pushing on her lungs and heart and had taken up most of the right side of her chest. Her left lung was compensating and doing all the work for the right one. A biopsy of the tumor revealed her family’s worst fear – cancer. She immediately started chemotherapy to shrink the tumor and allow her to breathe.
After nine rounds of chemo, the tumor shrunk significantly smaller making it operable. Brynn was now ready for surgery at CHLA to remove the tumors, along with three ribs and about 20 percent of her right lung.
The next steps were to continue with an additional 5 rounds of chemo and proton radiation in San Diego to kill any remaining cancer cells in her right chest cavity. She finished up her first battle with EWS in August 2019.
In November 2019, Brynn lost her best friend and a close family friend of the Wheelers, to cancer. This was devastating to Brynn and her family.
In February 2020, a post-surgery scan revealed a recurrence (small tumor) in her right chest cavity, meaning another treatment plan was in order. There is not a standard protocol to treat an EWS relapse, so each step of this second treatment plan has been full of hard decisions.
She recently had her second surgery to remove the recurrent tumor and is well down her treatment path. There is still a lot to navigate and decisions to be made on the next steps in her plan. But post-surgery, Brynn is enjoying the things she loves as much as her body allows – riding horses & spending time with her siblings and family.
Brynn continues to amaze everyone around with her unbreakable warrior spirit! #BattlingforBrynn.