“It’s just the day that your world literally falls apart. There’s no other way to explain finding out your daughter has 12 months to live,” exclaimed the parents of 3-year-old Bailey Dodson.
Bailey was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in February.
She’s responding well to radiation treatment, but her parents got a call on Tuesday, saying they don’t qualify for one of the top clinical trials.
With no cure, a prognosis of 12 months to live, and only a couple of options left, it’s a race against the clock.
A string of beads has been growing to mark the steps of Bailey’s journey.
More than 50 mark each doctor visit, more for physical therapy sessions, the start and end of radiation, each time she was put under anesthesia (now up to 35). It’s more than 4-feet long.
“This is her story,” said Jack Dodson, Bailey’s father. “This is what a 3-year-old little girl has to go through.”
And this Sunday, Mother’s Day, they will add to it with another trip to St. Jude Children’s Hospital for an MRI to learn the impact radiation had on her tumor.
“Overwhelmed, scared, so scared, confused. The main thing I always ask is why,” said Bailey’s mom, Lisa Dodson.
Sleepless nights are turning into grueling days for the Dodson family. With no cure and a list of 12 clinical trials, they are hoping one of them will be the answer to their prayers.
“We still believe she’s going to be our miracle baby, but we just don’t know where we’re going yet,” said Lisa.
So, for now, they celebrate days spent as a family – Bailey with her older brother, sister, parents, and grandma around a slip and slide in the front yard.
And they celebrate unforgettable moments like the Make-a-Wish trip to Disney last month, where Bailey was crowned a princess for a day.
The family says they cherish each smile, each hug, as they pray for a miracle – holding onto hope that she will overcome the odds and beat this.
“If anyone can do it, she can,” declared her father.
They credit grandma, who just turned 71 last week, for holding the family together.
She’s been raising Bailey’s siblings while they’re in Memphis.
If you would like to help, a family friend has set up a GoFundMe page.