NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - With a smile like this one - you may have a hard time ever believing 21-month-old Sawyer was once fighting for her life. A swollen eye and a low grade fever led her mom, Jamie Weiss to know something wasn’t right.
“A team of doctors walked into the room and said want to have a seat? I sat down,” Weiss said. “They told us our daughter has a large tumor in her abdomen. It’s neuroblastoma.”
Doctors at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center diagnosed Sawyer last March. The rare and aggressive form of cancer had spread to 85% of her body.
“She went through eight rounds of chemotherapy, nine and a half hours of surgery, 11 blood transfusions and a stem cell collection we were the lucky ones,” she said.
With a clean bill of health, the mother of three used her fear to fight and fundraise for the other children who have a less fortunate prognosis.
On Saturday, hundreds of people will ride stationary bikes here in Woodbury to raise money for cancer research - the event is known as Cycle for Survival - where every dollar raised goes directly to lifesaving studies and clinical trials within six months of the ride.
Jamie’s team - the Gold Ribbon Riders. She’s raised over $380,000 for childhood cancer research and couldn’t do it without her helpers.
She and her family found what they call Sawyer’s silver lining and plan to continue riding until there’s a cure.
“You have to dig deep and have faith that miracles happen.”