It was the 4th of July of this past year when a bump was felt while her mom, Anne, was wiping Elin’s mouth. After testing in Bismarck, she and her family headed to the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis. There Elin, who was then almost three-years-old, was diagnosed with the extremely rare Ewing’s sarcoma, a type of bone cancer, in her mandible (jaw).
Elin now does all of her doctoring in Minneapolis. She had 12 cycles of chemotherapy before surgery on February 24. The surgery was to remove the tumor and a good portion of her jawbone. Most of her bottom teeth were lost during this surgery and a metal plate was placed in her jaw. She will have her final two cycles of chemo three or four weeks after her surgery. Then, when she is five or six, Elin will have another surgery to have a bone graft from her fibula to give her a new jawbone. It will need to be replaced because Elin will continue to grow, but the metal plate will not. A few years down the road, when the bone is grafted from her fibula to become the new jawbone, it will then continue to grow with the rest of Elin.
This feisty little trooper has her ups and downs, including loss of appetite and energy, but she remains a shining light for her family – mom Anne, dad Luke, and siblings Emersyn, Ethan and Elise – and those around her. Elin loves to sing and dance, which is good since she wants to be a princess when she grows up!