Free of brain tumors
Over the next 18 months, Riley needed five more surgeries when the tumor recurred and again obstructed the flow of her cerebrospinal fluid. The tumor recurred in the same area each time and was safe to remove surgically without the need for chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Through it all, Riley remained positive and comical.
"Riley was very strong," said her mom, Pamela Danbusky. "Stronger than she knew."
In late 2011, after more than a year of clear MRIs, Dr. Mittler noticed a single, small, slow-growing nodule in Riley's brain.
At first, the care team monitored her situation to make sure no more growths would develop. After a few months of otherwise tumor-free MRIs, Dr. Mittler removed the nodule.
"We hoped that this surgery would be the final blow to the tumor," he said.
It worked. Since then, Riley's yearly MRIs have shown no sign of tumor recurrence.