The only sign that 2-year-old Maggie Leander ever had cancer is a tiny dot—a radiation tattoo—on her belly.
Maggie was just 10 days old when Iowa doctors told Breanna and Luke Leander that their baby had neuroblastoma, a cancer of the nerve cells.
Neuroblastoma is the most common cancer in infants and one of the most common in children younger than 10. It's an unusual cancer, in that some children will have a spontaneous remission without treatment. In others, the disease is aggressive and deadly despite intensive chemotherapy and stem-cell transplants.
Maggie had a low-risk form, but as the tumor in her tiny body grew to the size of a cantaloupe, her breathing became labored and rapid. The Leanders, who live in western Illinois, wanted a second opinion.