Michela Durrette is 12 years old and lives in Houston, Texas. She is in the 7th grade at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic School. On May 31st of this year she had a 3 centimeter Grade III, Papillary Meningioma with traits of Astroblastoma removed from her left frontal lobe at Texas Children’s Hospital, followed by 33 Proton Radiation treatments through The University of Texas at M.D. Anderson’s Proton Center. At Michela’s last MRI on September 30, 2013, her oncologist Dr. Jack Su could find no current evidence of cancer.
Michela is a very upbeat, positive child with strong faith that never wavered throughout her diagnosis and treatment. Even when she began to lose her hair due to radiation, she managed to maintain a positive attitude. We feel very blessed that Michela has a large circle of friends who have supported her throughout this journey. These friends took turns accompanying Michela to her daily radiation treatments during the summer, while their parents generously shared the duties of driving us back and forth to the Proton Center each day. We are eternally grateful for the support of these wonderful friends.
Michela started the 7th Grade on schedule in August, and has been able to resume many of the activities that she enjoyed prior to diagnosis. She continues to be a straight-A student and enjoys being an active Girl Scout member. She is always looking for ways to “pay it forward”, and has been making hats out of soft felt material since the summer. To date, she has donated 20 of these hats to the Proton Center and 20 to Texas Children’s hospital, in a variety of sizes from infant through adult, to aid patients who have lost their hair due to treatment. She is also involved in a Wigs For Kids campaign sponsored by her school. Several girls, parents and staff members have already committed to growing their hair long throughout the school year, and having it cut and donated at a big end-of-year celebration in May 2014.
This is just a little about Michela, but I’m sure she could tell you much more. She is very outgoing, and is looking forward to being part of the radiothon in December . Thank you for this opportunity!
by Leileina Durrette (Michela’s mom)