Kim Reilly is a proud grandmother. The pictures that hang above her desk are proof.
"She loves to dress up, loves put make-up on, loves Cinderella."
But they are also a reminder of the battle her three-year-old granddaughter Haleigh Steenbergen is facing. Her story began the week after Thanksgiving.
"She swallowed a penny. This is a kid who never put anything in her mouth. But she did, and told her mom she did. She had a sick stomach, but we called the doctor and he said she would be o.k."
But three days later, Haleigh became violently ill. She was vomiting uncontrollably, walking sideways and her mother noticed her left eye and mouth began to droop. She was rushed to the hospital where doctors performed a cat scan. Haleigh had a brain tumor.
"We were just devastated. We didn't know how to act, what to do, where to turn. We were just numb and blown away."
From there, Haleigh headed to Kosair Children's Hospital where the family learned her tumor was inoperable.
Still hopeful, doctors are treating it aggressively with chemotherapy.
They believe the penny helped them detect the tumor.
"It triggered the vomiting, which made the little part around the tumor swell in her brain and the tumor pressed on the brain which made her eye droop and made her walk sideways."
In the meantime, Kim and her family are relying on one source for strength. "From God, the only place i know."
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