Brenna Rankin's Story
Brenna Michelle Rankin was born on June 25, 2013. When she was just a little over a year old she began to have some episodes of startling. What began as an isolated incident soon became more and more frequent. Her doctor was concerned that she was having seizures and sent the family to Denver. After a multitude of tests the doctors still weren’t sure what was causing her episodes. It wasn’t until the following January when her parents pushed for an MRI after months without answers that two tumors were discovered in Brenna’s brain. She was diagnosed with an ETMR or an embryonal tumor with multilayer rosettes.
Over the next eight months Brenna would endure multiple brain surgeries, the placement of a shunt, two drains, chemo and a stem cell harvest and transplant. Even with all of this the statistics were against her. Her rare brain cancer had only a 15% survival rate but her family knew they had to try and fight. After her third round of high-dose chemo and stem cell transplants Brenna had no active cancer cells left. Her family was excited and tried to get back to “normal.” However in November 2015 a routine follow-up MRI showed that her cancer was back and there was nothing else that could be done.
The family spent the next four months playing, going on trips, visiting friends and family, and doing their best to enjoy each moment as a family. On March 16, 2015 at 5:05 am Brenna took her last breath. Brenna’s family is sharing her story so that everyone can truly understand what this horrible disease does to families.