10-year-old Southeast Texas girl battling rare brain cancer

The 10-year-old girl from Southeast Texas was diagnosed with Pineoblastoma, a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer.

THE NETHERLANDS, Texas – A mother from Southeast Texas said that while it was difficult to hear that her 10-year-old daughter had brain cancer, she is grateful that the diagnosis came when it was.

Bella Resweber has been staying at St. Jude’s in Memphis for over a month after being diagnosed with stage 4 pineoblastoma. Pineoblastoma is a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer, with diagnoses in less than one percent of patients, said Nichole Resweber, Bella’s mother.

“I never thought in my wildest dreams that that would ever be a possibility for her,” said Nichole Resweber.

Nichole Resweber said the past few months have been tough, but she’s proud of her daughter for getting through her treatment.

The Dutch mother said it all started with a visit to Bella Resweber’s ophthalmologist in October 2021.

The mother and daughter moved from New York to the Netherlands a few months ago. Before going back, the 10-year-old started throwing up, getting headaches and dealing with vision problems.

Nichole Resweber took her daughter to an eye doctor in New York, but was told they couldn’t make an appointment until January. Shortly after moving to the Netherlands in October, the Southeast Texas mother took her daughter to an eye doctor who recommended taking Bella Resweber to Texas Children’s.

“When they showed me the scans of her brain and the fluid that had built up in it, if we had waited, if it had gone months later, we wouldn’t have this conversation at all,” Nichole Resweber said.

A Texas Children’s doctor told the couple the 10-year-old would need emergency brain surgery. Nichole Resweber said if doctors hadn’t diagnosed her daughter when they did, her chances of beating the disease would have been much lower.

“Less than one percent of children get the diagnosis,” Nichole Resweber said. “Very aggressive tumor.”

They have since moved from Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston to St. Jude’s in Memphis, Tennessee as the 10-year-old seeks treatment for the rare and aggressive brain cancer

“You don’t just see your child,” Nichole Resweber said. “You see all the other kids going through the same thing they are, and it’s so sad.”

Bella Resweber will have surgery in January 2022 to remove her brain tumor. The 10-year-old will then need six weeks of radiation, followed by four more rounds of chemotherapy.

“I know it’s in God’s hands,” Nichole Resweber said. “I know God never gives you more than you can handle. But I know he’s listening, and all those prayers certainly help.”

Nichole Resweber said the love and support from not only the Southeast Texas community, but Bella’s old school in New York, helped them get through the rough times.

Resweber is grateful that her daughter was diagnosed when she received treatment and was able to seek treatment, because for many children, the diagnosis comes too late.

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