Seven-year-old cancer survivor celebrates Thanksgiving and birth - KXXV Central Texas News Now

Seven-year-old cancer survivor celebrates Thanksgiving and birthday

(Source: KXXV) (Source: KXXV)

Doctors diagnosed seven-year-old Elizabeth Greer with cancer more than a year and a half ago, but on this turkey day, the little girl celebrated both Thanksgiving and her birthday.

Traci Greer is Elizabeth's grandmother and she said finding out Elizabeth's diagnosis, and seeing the changes in the little girl, rocked the family.

"When she was first diagnosed, she had eleven tumors," Greer said. "She was stage 4 -- she couldn't walk -- she had gone from a happy child that was running and playing, and skipping and hopping, and playing hide and go seek -- to in a wheel chair."

Greer said Elizabeth was diagnosed in July of 2015, when she was only five-years-old. She said this is the family's second holiday fighting cancer. 

"Last Thanksgiving she was in the hospital," Greer said. "She was going through chemo at this time last year, and she was sick a lot," she added. 

But the grandmother said things are going better this year, and that it's partly because of the help the family is getting from the Ronald McDonald House in Temple. 

"This is like our home away from home anyway...  we very much enjoy our time here," she said. "Being here also helps her and other kids realize she's not alone."

Susan Bolton with the Ronald McDonald House said the charity is there to help families with sick children who need to visit hospitals in the area. She said the goal of the house to make sure the families who live there always feel at home. 

"I just think it's important to have a home away from home, and that's what this place is," Bolton said. "Even though it's hard [and] we can't make it perfect, but we can make it as much like home as we can," she added.  

Even though the family continues its fight against cancer this Thanksgiving, they also had two things to celebrate: Elizabeth is winning her battle against cancer, and this turkey day was also her seventh birthday. 

"A year later she's down to one tumor," Greer said. "I'm thankful for every minute that I get to spend with Elizabeth and my other grand kids," she added. 

The grandmother said dealing with cancer in a child can be tough during the holidays, but with perseverance, it is still possible to have a happy holiday.

"You can't let the hand you're dealt determine your mood and attitude, and let it bring you down, because then you'll let it win," she said. "If you show it that it's not stronger than you, and you're going to fight back, then you'll eventually win your battles," she added.

Greer said she hopes she and Elizabeth are able to leave the Ronald McDonald House by New Years Eve, so that Elizabeth and the family can start their new year caner free.

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