One of the most joyous moments in one’s life is the birth of a child, and the joy is double with twins. But, for Alyssa and Michael Dunn the birth of their beautiful twins turned out to be the worst nightmare in their lives.
While the baby girls looked healthy, weighing 5lbs, 8oz and 5lbs, 12oz, Isabella and Madeleine were actually suffering from one of the most dreadful diseases known to mankind. When they were only two months old, their pediatrician noticed that Madeleine’s belly was swollen and ordered an ultrasound be done. Despite thinking she was too young, it was found to be cancer.
Madeline was suffering from Stage 4S neuroblastoma, a rare form of malignant cancer found in infants and children. The cancer has created a softball sized tumor that grew in her abdomen. Upon meeting Dr. Jeffrey Taub at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Detroit Medical Center, he suspected something with the twin, Isabella.
Taub’s suspicions turned out to be right, as the other twin, Isabella, was also diagnosed with the same form of cancer in the exact same place. MRI scans showed that their livers were massively enlarged and completely filled with tumor cells, not just one small section.
This kind of misfortune is extremely rare to happen, especially with twins and even rarer for both to survive. The prognosis was grim. The best option offered to them was chemotherapy, but it came with its own risks such as; scarring, developmental delays, and even death.
When Isabella and Madeline were separated for their first round of chemo, there were no visible changes, but once doctors suggested having them be reunited for the second round of therapy, the unthinkable happened.
The twins started laughing and playing with each other, something they hadn’t done in over a month. By October they were well enough to be sent home and finish their treatments.
On December 14, 2007, the family received the anticipated news – their baby girls were cancer free!
“It’s a true miracle and it’s just really gratifying to see something like this happen”, said Dr. Jeffrey Taub.
Isabelle and Madeline celebrated their 9th birthday recently, and they couldn’t look healthier. “It was definitely a gift from God to heal them through the doctors and nurses”, said Michael Dunn, “there’s no doubt in my mind it was a miracle”.