Kristella “Stella” Serna
Kristella (Stella) Serna is an 8yr old girl from San Antonio that was diagnosed with a type of brain cancer called myxopapillary ependymoma in March 2021.
It all started with leg pains that turned into her losing the ability to walk. The physician thought her leg pains were just growing pains but after her not being able to walk he ordered an MRI. The MRI showed a large tumor intertwined in her lower spine that was leaking fluid into her abdomen. She had emergency surgery that removed 70-80% of the tumor. A few weeks after the surgery she started proton radiation treatment (35 rounds) in Houston at MD Anderson. She was sedated daily for her treatment and she handled it so well. Stella was able to walk and run again but it left her with medical complications consisting of a paralyzed bladder, mild scoliosis, and nerve damage to her legs that cause pain. The remaining tumor is inoperable due to the location at the very bottom of the spine, but it is currently stable and we pray daily that it stays stable.
In Jan 2023 two new tumors located at the top of her spine were found and then in March 2023 five new tumors were found in her brain. Due to how many tumors there are and other factors the tumors are inoperable. Her cancer has spread and we are heartbroken but trying to stay postive.
Stella finished Proton Radiation on her brain and upper spine in May 2023 at MD Anderson (25 rounds). This time around it was much harder on her. She lost all her hair, so much weight, and was just so fatigued and nauseous.
She is currently in treatment doing chemo and having scans done every 2months. We have good days and bad but are trying to enjoy every day to it’s fullest.
After Stella’s diagnosis, our family has forever been changed, we will never be the same. So many things were put into perspective. Spending time together as a family has become the most important thing to us. Time in general has become the most precious thing to us as we don’t know what’s to come.