The birth of a child is meant to be a joyous occasion, especially for twins. For Alyssa and Michael Dunn however, it turned out to be any parent’s worst nightmare. But what happened in the end was nothing short of amazing!
A Low Point
At 5lbs, 8oz and 5lbs, 12oz, Isabella and Madeleine looked like a perfectly healthy set of twins. Two months later, their pediatrician noticed that Madeleine’s belly was swollen and ordered an ultrasound be done. Despite thinking she was too young, it was found to be cancer.
She was found to have Stage 4S neuroblastoma, a rare form of malignant cancer found in infants and children. It caused a softball sized tumor to grow in her abdomen. Upon meeting Dr. Jeffrey Taub at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Detroit Medical Center, he suspected something with the twin, Isabella.
His suspicions were, unfortunately, correct, and she was diagnosed with the exact same form of cancer in the exact same place. An MRI showed their livers were massively enlarged and completely filled with tumor cells, not just one small section.
It’s extremely rare for this to happen with twins and even rarer for both to survive. The outlook was not good. Chemotherapy was the best option, but it came with its own risks such as; scarring, developmental delays, and even death.
A Glimmer of Hope
The twins were separated for their first round of chemotherapy, and there were no visible changes. The doctors suggested having them be reunited for the second round of therapy. That’s when the unthinkable happened.
Their condition pulled a complete 180. The twins began laughing and playing with each other, something they hadn’t done in over a month. By October they were well enough to be sent home and finish their treatments.
On December 14, 2007, the Dunn’s received the call they had been waiting anxiously for. Their daughters were cancer-free, with no trace of the disease left. “It’s a true miracle and it’s just really gratifying to see something like this happen”, said Dr. Jeffrey Taub.
The girls have recently celebrated their 9th birthday and they couldn’t look healthier. “It was definitely a gift from God to heal them through the doctors and nurses”, said Michael Dunn, “there’s no doubt in my mind it was a miracle”.
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