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‘You can do anything’: 9-year-old welcomed home after brain cancer treatment

By Melanie Wingo

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    VACAVILLE, California (KCRA) — A Vacaville third grader received a huge welcome home after a long several months in Southern California. Isabelle Hill was receiving treatment for brain cancer and her school community wanted to make her homecoming a special one.

Family, friends and fellow school children from Cooper Elementary gathered Friday evening for what organizers called an art extravaganza, bake sale and fundraiser.

All donations and proceeds from vendors at the event will go directly to the Hill Family to help with Isabelle’s medical treatments, organizers said.

“It’s truly amazing,” said Isabelle’s mom Courtney Hill, of the event at the school which drew dozens of families. “I know that Isabelle is super excited to be here.”

The past eight months, however, haven’t been easy for 9-year-old Isabelle and her family.

In August 2021, Isabelle was coming home sick from school with headaches, her mom told KCRA 3.

An initial trip to the doctor, however, didn’t result in relief or answers.

“She was up and in our bed at like three or four o’clock in the morning just sobbing uncontrollably and hearing like a whooshing in her ears,” Isabelle’s dad James Hill recalled.

Those headaches became of increasing concern to her parents, so they took Isabelle to the emergency room where doctors performed an MRI – finding a tumor the size of a wiffle ball her mom explained.

Then came even more devastating news.

“They told us it was cancerous,” said Courtney Hill. “If we had waited longer she would have been unable to walk within like a week because the tumor was so large.”

After her tumor removal surgery, Isabelle spent almost the entire school year receiving treatment for her cancer in San Diego.

Radiation, chemotherapy, and relearning how to speak, eat and walk have been part of her healing journey.

Her parents expressed gratitude for the community support they’ve received along the way, while staying inspired by their daughter’s strength.

“She is truly why I’ve been able to keep my spirits up,” said Isabelle’s mom. “She just kicks butt.”

The family knows they still have a challenging road ahead, but they’re confident Isabelle will make it through.

“I’m like, girl, you’re so stinkin’ strong you can do anything!”

Isabelle will receive an end-of-treatment MRI next Thursday. She’ll then need to get MRIs every three months for two years.

Doctors will consider her “cancer free” after five years.

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