KSON Going Gold for Samantha

September 22, 2016

Samantha's mother Jolene tell us about her fight against cancer: 

My daughter Samantha is 16 years old. We live in Alpine and she is a junior at Granite Hills High School in El Cajon. She is in the top ten students academically in her class and enrolled in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP), a two-year educational program. The program provides an internationally accepted qualification for entry into higher education and is recognised by many universities worldwide. She has played soccer for 10 years, was recently the goalie for her club team,Matrix, as well as two years for her high school team. Sam is also a dancer. She danced for 11 years with Alpine Dance Academy. 

Late into this summer, Sam began to complain about her ankle hurting. It was swollen. Being as active as she was, her and I didn't think much of it. Maybe she turned it during soccer practice? After some time had gone by and the swelling had not gone down, I decided it was time to take her to have it checked out. August 8th, 2016, I took her to Kaiser and they ran X-rays. The doctor noticed something on the X-ray. She called me into her office and explained that something didn't seem right and she wanted to order an MRI and blood work. They admitted Sam that day in order to get the MRI done quickly. The next day, the doctor informed me that although the blood work looked fine, the MRI came back with something suspicious. Could be an infection in the bone. But a biopsy would need to be done. The next day a biopsy was done.

On August 17th, I received the results of the biopsy. Osteosarcoma on Sam's tibia was the diagnosis. Another biopsy would need to be done immediately to determine what grade the sarcoma was and to begin a plan of action. One day after the second biopsy, the dr determined it was high grade and very aggressive. Chemo would need to start immediately. A Hickman line was inserted in order for them to administer the chemo in a less invasive manner. Two weeks after the Hickman line was inserted , it had to be removed because a blood clot had formed in her neck, risking blockage of blood flow to her brain and causing severe pain in her neck. I now have to give her shots, twice a day, in her stomach in order to thin her blood. She will now have to have the chemo administered by an IV in her hand. Unfortunately, Sam's not a big fan of needles but she's getting used to all the poking.  

On August 25th, 2016 Sam started her first round of chemo. Friday, September 23rd she will finish her first round of chemo. She will have one more full round before she undergoes major surgery in November. Sam has two options for surgery. Limb saving reconstruction or amputation. Limb saving reconstruction consists of removing the sarcoma which is living in the lower portion of her tibia. They would also need to reconstruct her entire ankle because the sarcoma is touching the ankle as well. The mobility of her ankle would greatly diminish and she could possibly lose feeling in her foot. If Sam chooses amputation, she would lose the lower part of her leg below the knee. Sam will then undergo 6 more months of chemotherapy before her journey is complete.

We feel so blessed to have so much love and support from family and from our small community of Alpine. A You Caring site has been started for Sam and all donations go directly to her for any and all of her needs during this most challenging journey. Her official charity page can be found at www.youcaring.com/samanthabodger as well as a Facebook page @samfamfight. Her best friends came up with the acronym SamFam and will be using that in all of our fundraising efforts. You will begin to see bumper stickers, bracelets and tshirts all sporting the SamFam logo in support and all proceeds will go to help with the financial burden. I would personally like to thank our friends, family and all of those who have already given so much. We feel the love, prayers and support. 

Sam shares how she stays positive and how her friends have helped support her:

KSON Going Gold for Samantha