Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
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Monroe Carell Jr.
Children's Hospital
at Vanderbilt
2200 Children's Way
Nashville, TN 37232

(615) 936-1000

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Meet Cici

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Cici Collins was the child ambassador for the evening at the Nashville Predators’ Hockey Fights Cancer Night on Oct. 26. Representing cancer fighters everywhere, the 10-year-old Hermitage resident dropped the first puck.

Seven years ago, Cici’s mother, Kaitiy Collins, noticed her daughter was struggling to put on her socks. Cici couldn’t get her hand to do what she was telling it to. Concerned, Kaitiy took Cici to the hospital that day. A CT scan revealed a tumor and Cici was immediately sent by ambulance to Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. She was diagnosed with anaplastic ependymoma, a rapidly growing tumor of the central nervous system (including the brain and spinal cord), in May 2006.

“We were thrown into this world that we had never even imagined, but Cici’s doctors gave me an overwhelming sense of calm,” said Kaitiy. “They told me they’d take care of my daughter and would do everything in their power to cure her cancer. It was exactly what I needed to hear at the time.”

Cici was quickly scheduled for surgery to remove the tumor. She amazed her doctors when, just three days after the 14-hour surgery, she was ready to go home. Her doctors had expected her to spend two weeks in the hospital. Following surgery, Cici underwent six weeks of radiation. New scans revealed Cici was cancer free.

Cici was in remission for six years, but in August 2012 she and her family were told Cici’s cancer had recurred, this time in her spine. Due to the proximity of the tumor to the spinal cord, surgery would not be an option. This time, Cici underwent two rounds of chemotherapy followed by six weeks of radiation and four more rounds of chemotherapy.

“The thing that upset her most about chemo was how much school she had to miss,” said Kaitiy. “Though, even with all the school she has had to miss for doctors’ appointments, chemo and radiation, Cici managed to get straight A’s on her last report card.”

Cici finished with her chemotherapy and radiation treatments at the end of May. The tumor is now considered stable with no signs of growth.

“Cici was honored and excited to be the child ambassador at the Hockey Fights Cancer game,” said Kaitiy “The look on her face when the entire arena stood up to give her a standing ovation was like ‘wow all of this for me?’ ”

Cici will continue having regular checkups at Children's Hospital, but is looking forward to spending less time at doctors’ appointments and more time doing what she loves like art, singing and riding horses.

“Even with everything Cici has gone through, she is always more concerned with how everyone else around her is doing,” said Kaitiy.

To learn more about Hockey Fights Cancer night or to buy tickets visit Children’s Hospital’s Nashville Predators Care for Kids Web page.


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