Kansas City,
14:37 PM

The Junction City Union: While a local child battles cancer, her family retains hope for the future

By Lydia Kautz

After doctors diagnosed Kalecia Simmons' 7-year-old daughter Riley with cancer July 26, Simmons' family put all their plans on hold.

It started earlier that month when Riley began experiencing abdomen pain.

A scan revealed a cancerous mass in Riley’s stomach — a wilms' tumor, they would later learn. Wilms' tumors are a form a childhood cancer impacting the kidneys.

Riley began treatment at Children’s Mercy Kansas City shortly after her diagnosis.

Plans for trips and activities such as gymnastics and other sports went by the wayside as she and her family stopped, caught their breath, and tried to adjust to what was happening to Riley — to understand.

Because of COVID-19 and because Riley is now immunocompromised, the family must be extra careful who they expose themselves and Riley to; they would hate to bring something home to her.

Children’s Mercy doctors and other medical professionals have helped Riley cope by getting down on her level and explaining things in language she can understand, Simmons said.

Riley fears her upcoming surgery to remove the tumor, but her family is doing what they can to keep her positive and help her be resilient and healthy.


Read the full story via The Junction City Union

Learn more about the Cancer Center at Children's Mercy