Mother who lost teen to cancer grateful for therapy trial developed in Birmingham

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) – An Alabama mother shares her story with us after losing her daughter to cancer.

An incredible trial for a therapy developed here in Birmingham not only gave her family several more months with their daughter, but it also gave them hope.

Kelsie Padgett was first diagnosed with a brain tumor at the age of 13.

“When you live with a diagnosis like Kelsie had, you go on with bated breath every day,” said Kelsie’s mother Tracey.

On April 10, 2015, she underwent surgery to remove the tumor.

Tracey said Kelsie was thriving.

She went to school. She was a cheerleader. She was a majorette, “Tracey said.” Like I said, it had zero symptoms, no side effects from the previous treatment.

But three years later, in 2018, Kelsie had a seizure.

They went back to Birmingham to meet Dr. Gregory Friedman of Children’s of Alabama, who found not one but several recurring tumors.

‘It was a blow. It was a blow to all of us, ”said Tracey. “Just completely unexpected because of how well she had done.”

Then Tracey heard about a lawsuit Dr. Friedman had started.

In the trial, a modified version of the herpes virus is delivered directly into the tumor of children with brain tumors.

And Kelsie was a candidate.

For Tracey and her family, participating in the trial was the obvious choice.

“Kelsie is part of this process, even if her tumor may have been too far away, it will one day help someone,” she said.

Tracey said the trial gave the Padgett’s a few more months with Kelsie.

Kelsie died on October 29, 2018, 18 days after her 17th birthday.

“Just be grateful for every moment you have,” Tracey said, holding back her tears. “You have to find things to be thankful for every day. Because there are. There is always something to be grateful for. “

The findings of that trial were promising, and were published April 10 in the New England Journal of Medicine – the same month and day that Kelsie’s first brain tumor was removed six years ago.

Her mother said that is more than a coincidence, and she knows that her daughter’s participation in the process could save more children in the future.

Copyright 2021 WBRC. All rights reserved.

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