Nicklaus Children's Hospital, formerly Miami Children's Hospital
Local: 305-666-6511
Toll Free: 800-432-6837
My Kids Patient Portal
Advanced Search

Medical Services
In this section

Bria's Story

Patient Success Stories

     Bookmark and Share

Bria's Cancer Survival StoryNicklaus Children's Hospital, formerly Miami Children's Hospital
‘Fits Bria Perfectly’

Unexpected News

When Carol found out that her 6-year-old daughter Bria had a malignant form of bone cancer called osteosarcoma, she thought that life was playing a cruel joke. Her active daughter had complained of pain in her left leg and was limping, but Carol never expected to hear that her healthy child was terribly ill. Dr. Ziad Khatib, hematology and oncology specialist, and a team of physicians in the Cancer Center at Nicklaus Children's Hospital, formerly Miami Children's Hospital, determined that Bria’s cancer was advancing rapidly throughout her little body and Carol had to choose whether to allow doctors to amputate her leg or begin chemotherapy sessions. “Nicklaus Children's Hospital helped us through a time when words don’t come easy for a parent. The doctors explained everything to us and to Bria and answered all her questions honestly and openly so that she understood from a child’s view what was going on with her,” explained Carol. “Her only request was that she keep her leg.”

Keeping a Positive Attitude

In order to save her leg, Bria underwent surgery to place a port in her chest to ease the Bria's Cancer Survival Storychemotherapy sessions she would later receive. When Bria began her chemotherapy sessions every two to three weeks, her doctors were impressed with her energy and positive attitude. “Bria knew she was in good hands. They treat people how they like to be treated, especially when they are caring for a loved one,” explained Carol. Even throughout the painful process, Bria and her family remained hopeful, and in the spring of 2002, the chemotherapy was successful, which allowed surgeons to replace the cancerous portion of her thighbone with a metal prosthesis. Bria has been in remission ever since thanks to the treatment she received at Nicklaus Children's Hospital, formerly Miami Children's Hospital. “Bria received around the clock care and the staff at Nicklaus Children's interest was to find the best possible treatment for Bria so that she could have a success story to tell,” Carol said. “They were the right people, at the right time, for the right purpose and the right fit!”

Spreading Smiles to Sick Children

Seven years later, the young cancer survivor is involved in more activities than an average teenager. Bria is a Girl Scout, a church youth group leader, a “Relay for Life” participant, a cheerleader at her high school and an entrepreneur! Bria started a non-profit organization called “Bria’s Bears,” which donates teddy bears to children who have cancer and honors her friends who have died from cancer. “I want to put a smile on their faces because when people gave me teddy bears, it always made me smile,” Bria said. 14-year-old Bria hopes to become a pediatrician one day and work with cancer patients. “I don’t want to limit myself because you never know what you’re going to accomplish,” she explained.