Young girl battling brain cancer is spreading hope — one letter at a time

by: Jesse Pierre, Nexstar Media Wire

Posted: May 22, 2021 / 10:28 PM CDT / Updated: May 22, 2021 / 10:28 PM CDT

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS, (KNWA / KFTA) – May is Brain Cancer Awareness Month, and for an Arkansas girl, the road to recovery has just begun.

Laken Cluck, 11, doesn’t let her cancer diagnosis stop her from bringing joy to other people’s lives.

During her hospital stay, Laken focused on one thing she loves: writing letters.

The first was for her mother, who was standing next to her. Next was to her doctors, then to the nurses who treated her, and then to anyone who needed help.

Laken said that instead of focusing on herself, she wants to be of service to others.

“I know how bad it feels to feel sick all the time, and it just encouraged me to write letters to people who feel sick or who need it,” said Laken.

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Laken is like many girls her age. She loves cheerleading, makeup and making Tik Tok videos, but her life has changed recently.

“This has been a crazy journey… you never expect this to happen to any of your kids,” said her mother, Jessica Fifer.

She said her daughter started to feel nauseous in January – vomiting, constant nausea, and sleeping more than usual. After several trips to the emergency room, doctors took a CT scan and found a tumor the size of a plum in her brain.

‘She has a brain tumor. At that point I just lost it, ”said Fifer.

“I remember feeling so sick that I really didn’t care what we had to do as long as we could get it out,” said Laken, who underwent surgery to remove the tumor and completed six weeks of radiation in May. At the end of June she starts with six chemotherapy treatments.

She was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a form of brain cancer that often occurs in children.

Once they found the tumor, she had surgery within six hours. It was very serious because her spinal fluid was blocked, and it could have ended very badly for her … if I didn’t keep chasing that something was wrong, ”said Fifer.

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She said Laken’s type of brain cancer is rare, but has the best results and responds well to treatment.

Laken said that if she can give someone who is struggling some hope, she has accomplished her mission.

“I know God has a plan for me, and He will put me on the right track,” said Cluck.

Laeken said she looks forward to beating her cancer, returning to cheerleading, and continuing to elevate people through what she calls her Department of Letters.

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