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MODEL OF THE MONTH: Eden Daniels

“To know Eden is to love her”

Tashas Wilson, Mother of Eden Daniels

At only two years old, signs of a low-grade fever and some fatigue without any other symptoms began to affect little Eden. She started to feel severe abdominal pains and as any mother would, Tashas took her baby girl to the pediatrician. The doctor immediately admitted Eden and ordered an ultrasound which ultimately detected a large tumor on her kidney. Eden and her mother were transported to the Florida Hospital for Children, where she was diagnosed with Stage 4 High Risk Neuroblastoma on June 2, 2014. After more testing, the doctors discovered that in addition to the cancerous tumor on her kidney, her left adrenal gland and bone marrow were affected.

To a mother of a two-year-old, this diagnosis is absolutely life altering. Eden’s disease has given her mother,Tashas, a strength that she never knew existed. It has helped her to appreciate the small things in life and now the family celebrates everything; they celebrate every milestone and achievement, no matter how small.

Eden immediately started treatment with the hope it would shrink the tumor and doctors would be able to proceed with removing the mass. After six rounds of chemotherapy, in October 2014, Eden endured a 12-hour surgery to remove all of the tumors. The surgery was successful! In November 2014, Eden and her mother traveled to All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg Florida for Eden’s Bone Marrow Transplant. The family returned a month later to then begin four rounds of radiation. After what seemed to be forever, the family received the best news possible on January 27, 2015. Eden was officially declared cancer free! Beginning in February 2015, just as Eden turned four years old, she began six months of immunotherapy. Her last treatment was on July 26, 2015 and Eden is currently within her second year of remission!

Cancer has transformed Eden into a stronger, braver, and take charge little girl! Tashas says Eden has truly blossomed. She is so full of life, love, joy, and has an abundance of personality. She is passionate about everything she does and her biggest role model is God. She is constantly bringing joy to others. When Eden grows up, she wants to become a veterinarian, but for now she just started Pre-K this past August! Eden lost her first tooth on New Year’s Day, within a record seven minutes of the famous ball Times Square drop.

Unfortunately, after children receive several rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, there are some side effects that are prolonging. Eden has suffered from chemo-induced hearing loss in addition to attending weekly occupational therapy to strengthen her hands from nerve damage. Neuroblastoma forms in the nerve tissues of the adrenal gland, neck, chest, or spinal cord. Neuroblastoma is the third most common childhood cancer, after leukemia and cancer of the central nervous system. Neuroblastoma is commonly difficult to treat. In the United States, about 600 children are diagnosed with neuroblastoma every year. Every 16 hours, a child that has been suffering from neuroblastoma dies. Children who are diagnosed over the age of two only have a 30% chance of survival. We are very honored to have precious Eden in our lives and thankful that she survived an incredibly life changing disease.

If you attended the 2016 Spring Fashion Soiree, then you remember Eden Daniels! She was the spunky little girl wearing a bright yellow jacket and neon pink skirt. She stole the stage for several minutes dancing and smiling, all while illuminating the whole room. Tashas says that Runway to Hope has been a blessing to their family. It has allowed Eden to blossom right before their eyes. She remembers the first-time Eden walked the runway. She had just been released from the hospital that morning and she seemed so shy and timid. This past year she has turned into a superstar! Runway to Hope has given Eden the opportunity to show everyone watching that cancer doesn't get a chance to win and the battle is being won with every step she takes across that stage. We look forward to celebrating those milestones every year. Eden’s catch phrase is “She can do everything herself because she’s a big girl!”

You are a big girl Eden and the world is ready to see you walking the stage, step by step, in May!

Runway to Hope / 7411 International Drive / Orlando, Florida 32819 / 407.802.1544