Local girl battles liver cancer, family hopes to raise awareness on pediatric illness
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - This week's Kindness in Action highlights Noelle Carter, 6, of Hattiesburg.
Last Christmas Noelle was diagnosed with Stage 3 liver cancer (Hepatoblastoma) and her family hopes her diagnosis will inspire others to learn more about pediatric cancer.
“It was kind of a very scary day of course" said Andrea Carter, Noelle's mother, a local physician.
In the last 3 months Noelle has received a biopsy on her liver and underwent 4 out of 6 chemotherapy sessions.
She will continue chemotherapy and will find out if she needs a liver transplant in the next several months. Her father, Lin Carter, a local attorney said Noelle is an inspiration to the family.
“Out of our three daughters, she is our tough daughter, simple things that are big to the kids, like getting blood drawn, she watches the needle goes in" said Lin.
He laughingly added, "She about makes her dad pass out, but she’s a tough kid.” Not only is Noelle an inspiration of strength to her family, but a figure of hope to the community.
The community has rallied behind her the last couple of months and even raised up to $70,000 through various fundraisers.
Noelle has a handful of followers on her Facebook page. Followers even coined the hashtag '#NoeStrong' to support the Carter family.
A local kid, Carson Keene, even showcased and sold his prized pig at a recent Rodeo Show. All the proceeds went straight to Noelle.
Lin said, "Carson was walking his pig around the rink, people started bidding, it ended with $6,000."
"He went off to the side, and people kept approaching him with more and more money, and the final tally was at least $18,000.”
Her mother hopes that Noelle's diagnosis and journey will inspire others to raise awareness about pediatric cancer.
“There needs to be more research, not for just hepatoblastoma, but for all pediatric cancers because only 4% of cancer research money goes to pediatric cancer" said Andrea.
According to Andrea, Noelle will finish all her chemotherapy sessions in the next coming months.
After chemotherapy doctors will check if Noelle can have parts of her liver removed or if she will need a new liver.
The Carter's said they are thankful for the community's continuous support.
To learn more about Noelle's journey you can click here or visit her Facebook Page 'Noe Strong'.