Girl with aggressive brain tumor asks people to help her smile with the 'lemon face challenge'

A little girl with a brain tumor that stops her from smiling launched a sweet, funny challenge.

Two years ago Kathie and Adam Potts were given harrowing news. Their tiny daughter Annabelle was suffering from DIPG - Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma - a childhood brain cancer, and had less than 9 months left to live, reported News.com on November 13, 2018.

Anabelle is suffering from a form of cancer against which science has no recourse. Whereas most childhood cancers such as lymphocytic leukemia have a nearly 90 percent survival rate today, there is no effective treatment for DIPG patients.

FIGHTING FOR THEIR DAUGHTER'S LIFE WHATEVER THE COST

The Canberra, Australia natives were determined to do do the impossible to save their child, so they flew Anabelle to Mexico for a trial of experimental chemotherapy. 

Annabelle underwent 10 rounds of treatment at a cost of approximately $30,000 each, and in March 2018 doctors told the Potts that her tumor had shrunk to the point it could no longer be detected.

THE LITTLE GIRL WHO CAN'T SMILE

Unfortunately, just a few months later, Annabelle's tumor came back. At this point, the tumor had paralyzed her cheeks and the sweet little girl can no longer smile. Only one thing cheers Annabelle up. She came across a challenge created by a fellow DIGP sufferer, called the Lemon Face Challenge.

WHAT IS THE LEMON FACE CHALLENGE?

Ten-year-old Aubreigh Nicholas started the challenge, in which people stick a quarter lemon in their mouths and suck on it...Then they smile around the lemon. Numerous celebrities adhered and the challenge went viral in the USA.

ANNABELLE BRINGS THE LEMON FACE CHALLENGE TO AUSTRALIA  

In an attempt to raise awareness about DIGP, Annabelle and her parents are spreading the Lemon Face Challenge to Australia.

With the help of Channel 9, the Potts broadcast an appeal from the steps of the House of Parliament and were joined by Senator Cory Bernardi, who happily popped a lemon in his mouth and smiled for Annabelle. 

With the help of government funding, the Potts hope that a viable treatment for DIGP can found and bring hope to other children like Annabelle.

Read more on Twitter Amomama USA.

A MOTHER FIGHTING FOR HER SON'S LIFE

Like Kathie and Adam Potts, Candance Gundersen went through the agony of hearing her child diagnosed with cancer.

Her son Nicholas, 13, was diagnosed with a rare type of aggressive leukemia, and immediately started chemotherapy in an attempt to destroy his cancer.

Candace, who is a wellness coach, watched horrified as her son underwent the grueling treatments, during which he lost over 20% of his body weight.

At one stage during his treatment, Nicholas even stopped breathing and had to be reanimated. The treatments worked, and Nicholas is now in remission but doctors will be administering the chemotherapy over the next three years, to make sure the cancer is completely irradicated.

"I do not have cancer, so there is no need for chemotherapy, it's causing me a lot of stress and I can’t deal with it anymore."

Nicholas Gundersen

With her son's knowledge and consent, Candace has refused permission for further chemotherapy and told doctors she wanted to look into alternative treatments that would be less damaging to her son's health. As a result, Candace lost custody of her son and is now fighting in court to win back her parental rights.

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