Saturday, September 5, 2015

Cancer took her hair and limp, but this girl is determined to be like her idol

Cancer took her hair and limp, but this girl is determined to be like her idol
The makeup slides a soft brush cheeks Vivian Laws bristles, and leaves them a blush that makes it look pretty rosy. For now, this teen is in good health, despite the crutches that are held upright and the huge black orthopedic support that leads around the right leg. She is very excited-and rightly ample to meet Chelsea Studios in New York City, where he prepares to be on a TV show.

The makeup artist gives the finishing touches on the lips. Hmm. More makeup I wear normally, Vivian think when you look in the mirror with professional eyes. Although only 14, she is a budding model.

November 2008 is one of those cold, bright morning in the Big Apple. Vivian is sitting next to the producer, and she talk with him to pass the minutes before you start the program. Do not feel nervous. It has already been before on stage and on camera. It also feels comfortable with her attire: a tight yellow vest over a long-sleeved black shirt and black muslin skirt.

Clothes and makeup are important details for an aspiring model and actress as she, like hair. But it need not worry about him, because he is bald. Chemotherapy left her well, as she cleaned her body of osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer.

The disease is the reason why this teen Cordova, a suburb of Memphis, Tennessee, is in the studies. She will tell her story as a cancer survivor on a popular morning news program, at the request of Child Saint Jude's Research Hospital, Memphis, where he received treatment. But before waiting a surprise.

They knock on the door. For a moment, Vivian thought to be a stagehand, but gasps to recognize the person who has just entered. The producer would not have been able to point in the script a better expression of amazement.

Oh, hello! he says Vivian to the visitor, almost shouting. It is her greatest idol: Tyra Banks, the supermodel-turned-TV star. The surprise, prepared by her father and the Saint Jude Hospital, is that Vivian will not appear on the news, but on The Tyra Banks Show, a program that 2.2 million people are on national television.

Minutes before Tyra came into the dressing Vivian with a team of cameramen, the girl's father, Vince, told the story of his daughter on stage: when this young cheerleader and aspiring model was 12, he was diagnosed bone cancer in her right leg. So far he has conquered evil, but the disease and treatment have limited their aspirations.

Vivian as her father spoke, it was a mischievous and energetic, always ready to meet the challenges babe. When I was three years "breakfast incident" it occurred: in their attempt to prepare the morning meal, the precocious threw cereal in the toilet and threw raw eggs at the kitchen floor.


The girl also had a natural beauty. The photographer who did a portrait Vivian while attending kindergarten asked her mother if she would let her pose for their ads, and suggested he enroll her daughter in child beauty pageants.

The mother, Carla Laws-Roseberry, followed the advice. In competitions with Vivian participated, excelled her exotic beauty-heredity of its Irish and Indian estadounidense- seed and her vibrant personality. Carla says her daughter has an "inner light that has always attracted people." At seven years old, Vivian had won a couple of competitions.

Later, while attending a festival celebrating the Independence Day of the United States, in Memphis, a talent suggested he attend modeling classes. Vivian signed a contract with the prestigious Wilhelmina agency Dan at 10 years old.

But then when I was 12, she felt such intense pain in her right knee that her parents took her to see a specialist. At the top of the tibia, the girl had a malignant tumor the size of a ping-pong. They would have to submit to chemotherapy and surgery to remove the tumor, and then further doses of toxic drugs to kill cancer cells that remain. You feel bad for six months the effect of drugs, and although their chances for recovery were good, there was no guarantee.

Worse, the doctor explained the girl, who had set their sights on a job that usually requires physical perfection, they would have to remove your diseased leg and replace it with a metal prosthesis part. The procedure would leave a visible scar on her leg. It would require an orthopedic support for the foot, and left with a permanent limp.

"Will you lose a leg and hair?"

Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease among estadounideses kids 1-14 years old. If there is any comfort to children who get this disease is that most do not know exactly what happens. The emotional charge and making decisions rests almost entirely on parents. These decisions are often the hardest to take in your life, not knowing until months or years later, if they were successful.

Vivian's story is a bit different.

When the doctor gave the diagnosis, the girl did not cry or showed altered. I asked questions that immaturity, most kids her age could not ask: "What kind of tumor is? Is it fatal? "Will I lose a leg and hair?"

"Vivian behaved with astonishing maturity and serenity," says her father. "My wife and I were silent, but the girl kept asking about the disease and what to expect. He was not afraid to know the answers. " Although her parents had the last word, they decided together with the medical care she would receive. Vivian was kept informed every step of the treatment. He wondered how long it would last, and blood transfusions and neutropenia, a condition in which white blood cells fall below a certain point, increasing the risk of infection.

Never did Google searches about her illness, but directly consulted doctors and nurses. Above all, he did not let fear take possession of it.

Vince thinks she knows why her daughter gave an almost instantaneous jump from childhood to adulthood. A year earlier, in 2006, the maternal grandparents of Vivian died of cancer within six months. The girl saw her mother took care of them day and night. The day her grandmother died, Vivian was in a test cheerleaders in front of the house of her grandparents, and suddenly saw an ambulance parked near the entrance.

He had a very close relationship with their grandparents. "I do not want to go through the same thing as they passed, he says, so I decided to get stubborn as cancer." He knew from TV shows he had seen, some cancer patients feel unhappy and angry with the world. "In the doctor's office I decided that I would not react well."

Dangerous drugs
Methotrexate is a chemotherapeutic agent ultrapotente doctors use only as a last resort, it has potentially dangerous side effects: kidney damage, liver and immune system. In women who take it during pregnancy can also lead to infertility and birth defects in the fetus.

In February 2008, at the start of the second second course of chemotherapy, the oncologist David Shook proposed them and their parents Vivian adding methotrexate at doses of drugs.

'Right now we are at halftime and we lose he told them. A month earlier, doctors had removed him Vivian tumor and the diseased knee and tibia, and implemented instead a metal prosthesis. When they analyzed the malignant tissue in the laboratory, they found that chemotherapy reduced the tumor by 30 percent, but it was not enough.

"We are dismayed by the idea of ​​giving the child toxic substances," said Carla. "Arriving at the house, my husband hugged me and began to mourn." However, Vivian accepted courageously provide him methotrexate.

A month after I started taking it, I contracted a severe staph infection in the area of ​​the prosthesis. Constantly suffered bouts of fever, and because of nausea and vomiting that chemotherapy caused her, had to administer intravenous nutritional supplements for six months.

In July 2008, doctors removed the infected and inserted in the hollow antibiotic impregnated spacer temporary implant. Throughout the procedure, the girl remained optimistic.

"The last thing a patient wants is to give injections says Dr. Najat Daw, another oncologist at the hospital-but Vivian rolls up her sleeves blouse smiling. That attitude has helped her get through this. "

The cheerleader

Shortly after the first prosthetic implant operation in January 2008, Vivian began to exercise on the parallel bars in the physiotherapy room to relearn how to walk, which had to do after each intervention. In the room, a patient of 20 years, red (before it was falling hair) and sweet look started making jokes, and Vivian laughed. He had already seen before. As she suffered from osteosarcoma. To both the operated leg on the same day, but he was not lucky enough to retain. Worse, the cancer had spread to the lungs.

Vivian boy friend. The boy was dedicated to advise and support her, and she attended the wedding of the couple, whose date was ahead fearing the inevitable. The same day that Vivian emergency surgery for an infected leg, her friend excised tumors of the lungs. The first question he asked when he recovered from anesthesia was: "How is Vivian?"

One day, the hospital called the girl to see if she could visit her friend, who was in a hospice. With the approval of their parents, Vivian began to visit frequently. "And before we knew it says Vince, the young man sat up in bed and eating ice cream. My daughter has the ability to turn around. "
"We laughed and joked as in the hospital," she says. "He had given me their support all the time, so now I should let him lean on me. I matured in recent weeks he lived, and I know I'm a better person for having known him. "

When the boy died, Vivian spent four minutes crying and then stopped abruptly. Basta. No more tears, she told herself. Since then, it has taken over other patients of Saint Jude Hospital.

"Smile with your eyes"
Backstage at the Chelsea Studios, moments before going on stage with Vivian, Tyra Banks goes to her and says: 'You know what you remind me of your head like that? The sixth season of the contest America's Next Top Model, when the girls made a photo shoot shaven and looked beautiful. If a girl is able to look without any hair, it is truly beautiful and fascinating.

Once at the center stage, particularly Vivian poses for photographer Tyra. The model runs the meeting and advised the girl: Then she and Vivian sitting alongside actress Marlo Thomas, daughter of comedian Danny Thomas, founder of Saint Jude Hospital to discuss the charities of the institution and its fundraising needs.

The hospital has treated patients from over 70 countries at its facilities in Memphis and through its International Outreach Program. Vivian has become model spokeswoman Saint Jude: appears in publicity events, poses in photo shoots to produce marketing materials and appears on television programs like this.

However, The Tyra Banks Show is undoubtedly the more thrilling experience. You can not believe I'm a few centimeters from Tyra, when just last night was fascinated only you can see a wax replica of her idol, in the Wax Museum of Madame Tussaud. "Tyra is so successful and yet so simple," he says. "Although it has no need to do so, help others instilling self-confidence".

Describing Tyra, also describes itself. With tenacity and determination as great as have been her idol to succeed as an entrepreneur, this slim girl hairless and limp on one foot chases her dream of becoming a model. Perhaps it fails to reach a Paris runway, but not worried. He says if you do not give work to her scar on the leg or limp, no matter, "Just do something else."

Vivian says she's happy to use her love of the modeling and acting to achieve another kind of celebrity: be a true cancer survivor. "I am very pleased to have overcome difficult times when I laughed and said 'I'm not afraid', while everyone else feared for me," he says. "I feel proud when I smile to a person who has had a bad day. I am fortunate to see that I have that quality. "

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