Mariyah Fersner
Nominated by her mom, Nikiyah Spearman

I would like to proudly nominate my daughter Mariyah Fersner. Mariyah is currently 12 years old. She unfortunately had a very rough start in life.

On December 24,2006 I took Mariyah in to the ER and demanded a scan of her head. The previous months at the tender age of 2 she had been complaining of headaches! After numerous trips to the pediatrician and numerous wrong diagnosis that night our lives changed forever! Mariyah had a tumor the size of a tennis ball in the occipital part of her brain. She had surgery immediately! They gave us a grim report. Mariyah had a 20% chance of survival. We found out that she had a very rare cancerous tumor called a PNET!

At only 2 years of age Mariyah was up for the fight of her life. After the oncologist got her protocol together she faced 16 weeks of chemo, 3 mini autologous transplants and 32 rounds of radiation. Mariyah had to stay in a bubble room for months and couldn’t be around a crowd of people for a while. In August 2007 after many sleepless night, constant fear of the road ahead, and fervent praying, the treatment was over.

Mariyah has many many side effects from treatment today. She lost all high pitch hearing, her cognitive development was greatly effected, kids sometimes make fun of her because her hair never grew back in some spots from radiation. Her ovaries were destroyed along with a host of speech, occupational and other problems. Through it all she is the sweetest, most caring child I know. She is always concerned about others! I thank God everyday for my miracle!