Little girl diagnosed with neuroblastoma

An 8-year-old Sussex County girl's family is asking for your prayers.

Aurora, whose family wishes to keep her last name and hometown private, is a typical third-grader, but her world was turned upside down recently when she was diagnosed with a rare form of childhood cancer.

According to family friend Kimmy Thompson, of Dagsboro, Aurora's mother took her to the doctor when she complained of abdominal pain and wasn't able to eat. 

"They thought constipation, maybe appendicitis," Thompson said.

But when doctors scanned her abdomen, they found inflammation and fluids and that her kidneys were failing. She was rushed to a children's hospital, and on Thanksgiving Day, Aurora had the first of many surgeries to drain her abdomen and had tubes inserted in her kidneys.

About a week later, Aurora was officially diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare type of childhood cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, it accounts for only 6 percent of childhood cancers. An orange-sized tumor was found floating unattached in her abdomen, and doctors have confirmed the cancer is in her lymph nodes and bones.

"It's been a terrible waiting game for her family," Thompson said.

Aurora is currently receiving chemotherapy, but she is bedridden.

"They're not giving the cancer a stage. Only God knows how much time she has."

Thompson said Aurora comes from a Catholic family that very much believes in miracles and the power of prayer. They're asking the community to pray for their child. They're also asking for donations.

Aurora's mother is a single mom, and they live with Aurora's grandmother. This summer, Aurora's mom was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis herself. Neither mother nor grandmother have left Aurora's side at the hospital since their ordeal began, meaning neither is working.

"The bills aren't getting paid," Thompson said. "We're going to let them know the community is here for them. We're going to let Aurora know we're going to fight with her."

Thompson has organized a donation drive at Lord Baltimore Elementary School in Ocean View on Sunday, December 9, from 10 to 11 a.m.

"We're asking people to bring a wrapped toy for Aurora or a canned food item," she said. "Gifts cards and donations would be great, too."

If you can't attend the event, you can donate to Aurora's family here.

"It's been extremely difficult for her," Thompson said. "She doesn't understand why she's hurting so much. She's just a little girl."