Bruna was diagnosed with a rapidly growing brain tumor, called a ganglioglioma, when she was only three months old. Her parents, Carolina and Klaus Billewicz, worked tirelessly to find the care she needed in Bolivia where they live. Despite many obstacles, including a worldwide pandemic, the Billewicz were connected to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami, where a clinical trial for ganglioglioma is underway.
Nicklaus Children’s currently offers several investigational treatments for children with brain tumors. Thanks to genetic testing, in some pediatric brain tumor cases, children can be matched to an oral medication that essentially works to shrink the tumor.
"Bruna has had great results with this treatment. Although she underwent two surgeries in an attempt to remove the tumor, it continued to grow at a rapid pace. After only three months on the investigational medication, her tumor has nearly disappeared. We are learning more about these rare tumors through our experience with the investigational treatments, and look forward to expanding these offerings to provide hope to more patients like Bruna," said Dr. Ossama Maher, Associate Director of the Neuro-Oncology Program at Nicklaus Children's.
What’s more, Bruna may not need to undergo radiation, avoiding secondary effects that can lead to developmental and educational challenges down the road. Bruna's mom, Carolina, is brought to tears every time she thinks about how far her daughter has come.
“Fate brought us to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital and God put its exceptional team of professionals in our path. We are forever grateful for the care Bruna has received,” said Carolina.