Bianka Kucelin will always be a shining light to all who have known her, beloved by family, friends and her whole community. She touched us all with her grace, joy, spunk, beauty and spirit. She loved to dance, play with her sister and friends, sing, go to shows, concerts, and plays, and to laugh. She was always kind, happy, and brave.
Bianka was diagnosed at age 4 with a malignant brain cancer called supratentorial neuroectodermal brain tumor or sPNET mid February 2014. She completed six months of high dose chemo treatment with stem cell transplant and enjoyed several cancer-free months with family and friends, but in May 2015 an MRI revealed the tumor had returned. Bianka started radiation treatment of June 9th, 2015 but the same day had a tumor bleed into her brain and was sent home on hospice. Bianka really wanted to go to Disney, on this Earth, how she said, and her desire for her dream to come true kept her alive and she recovered from the bleed by fully absorbing the blood in her brain in less than two weeks. We decided that we wanted to take Bianka to Disney World instead of continuing radiation and are so happy that her dream indeed came true.
Bianka spent her last few weeks surrounded by loved ones, meeting princesses, going on motorcycle rides, and feeling the beachy sand between her toes. She died peacefully at home with her family on July 29, 2015. Her incredible spirit has forever transformed all around her.
Bianka’s tumor tissue was donated for research to two organizations and research teams: Dr. Anna Janss’s team at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta who was Bianka’s wonderful oncologist and Dr. Annie Huang’s team at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. Hopefully Bianka’s tumor will bring some research discoveries and new therapies for this very malignant, rare, and deadly tumor.