Chandler teen raises awareness about childhood cancers after diagnosis
CHANDLER, Ariz. (3TV/CBS 5) -- “I have a tumor, a 6-inch tumor in my right hip. And I’m currently going through chemotherapy,” said Julia Mitchell in a YouTube video posted in November.
From her Chandler home, the 15-year-old is sharing her journey with the world. Julia was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma in August, which is a form of bone cancer.
The teen created a YouTube channel as a way to inform the public and raise awareness about childhood cancers. “Because I feel like not enough people know about this. I didn’t know anything about this. I didn’t even know what chemo was,” Julia said.
From checking her vitals with doctors to the very real side effects of treatment, Julia’s first video racked up thousands of views and comments. “It’s kind of just cool to see other people who have gone through this and to know that I’m not the only one,” she said.
While the first couple of months were really hard, Julia felt like she would be lost without her family. She’s the oldest of four with another on the way, and Julia’s mom says staying positive is what’s keeping her going.
“We know that there’s an end to this,” Wendy Mitchell told Arizona’s Family. “And we only have to think positively. She’s going to get better, and she has a purpose in this world. And I really feel like now that this happened, her purpose is to bring more light to childhood cancer and to help other kids going through this.”
On Thursday, Dec. 2, Julia will have surgery that could take up to 12 hours. In a word, Wendy describes her daughter as “courageous.” The family says the support from the community has been incredible, from neighbors bringing them food to Valley restaurants holding fundraisers.
The Mitchell family says if you want to help, they encourage you to donate blood because cancer patients rely on it. Julia, for example, has had a number of blood transfusions. Wendy also encourages parents to pay close attention to their kid’s health and see a doctor when they are in pain. That was a big red flag in Julia’s diagnosis, she says.
Here is a link to Julia’s YouTube channel.
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