A Little Girl Fights a Big Battle With Kidney Cancer

By KBJR News 1

December 5, 2011 Updated Dec 6, 2011 at 11:49 PM CDT

(GRAND RAPIDS) Northland's NewsCenter)---It happened suddenly and doctors say it was one of the largest tumors they had ever seen.

Now the community is coming together to help a little girl win her big fight.

Her stomach and veins were swollen and then overnight, the lump appeared.

Ceilia Copeland rushed her 4-year-old daughter Aria to the hospital.

Doctors diagnosed Aria with a Wilms tumor, a kidney cancer that occurs in children.

By the time Aria was checked into the Children's Hospital in Minneapolis, the tumor had developed into stage 3 cancer.

It had grown so big, Copeland said, it was touching her lungs and growing towards her heart.

"The X-rays, all you could see was the tumor, you couldn't see her left kidney, you couldn't see any of her other organs," Copeland said.

Doctors were able to surgically remove the tumor after intense chemotherapy, surgery and radiation treatments and were able to save two-thirds of her kidney in the process.

"She's got something about her, she's a very smart 4-year-old, very independent," Cathy Lanum, Aria's grandmother said.

Aria will visit the doctor this Friday to make sure the cancer is gone.

Meanwhile, family and friends continue to stay strong as Aria continues her fight.

"We just don't like our stuff, what happens to Aria," Joselyn Eisa, Aria's 7-year old sister said. "So I'm trying to be a big sister and stuff."

A benefit for Aria will be held Saturday at 1p.m. at the Grand Rapids Eagles Club.

Posted to the web: Jennifer Walch