BrAva Children

Bridget Crock

Bridget Crock was born August of 2006 and is a wonderful little girl who is loved by many.

At 17 months, Bridget Crock was diagnosed with pneumonia, and wrongly so. None of the doctors treating her knew of the rare genetic cancer called Pleuropulmonary Blastoma, through no fault of their own, as there was very little known in 2008 about this childhood cancer. After 7 months of extended hospital stays, five surgeries, countless x-rays, therapies, CT scans and finally a removal of the portion of the lung affected by this “incurable cyst”, Bridget was diagnosed correctly. She had Type 2 PPB which comes with a very aggressive treatment regime using harsh and potent chemotherapy, and only a 50% survival rate.

In January 2009, Bridget had her entire left lung, the lining around her lung, part of the lining around her heart, and a portion of her chest wall removed. More importantly, she had all of her cancer removed as well. Bridget completed treatment in July of that year and in August 2009 she celebrated her third birthday.

Today, Bridget is a vibrant, intelligent six year old and survivor, known for her constant smile and courage that would humiliate the strongest of adults. She is big sister to Anna, who was born while Bridget underwent treatment. Anna also carries the same genetic mutation that caused Bridget’s cancer and gets scanned every three months. As of today, Anna shows no signs of disease.

Since 2008 we have seen vast strides in the research for PPB. The PPB Registry has been around since 1970 and Bridget is number 288 to join the study. Since Bridget’s diagnosis we have seen many more children diagnosed correctly, more doctors aware of the disease, an increase in survival rate due to earlier detection, and increase in funding due to the discovery of the Dicer 1 gene mutation, which means an increase in research abilities.

The entire Crock family is part of the National Cancer Institute’s study of PPB and is paving the way with protocol for siblings carrying the Dicer 1 mutation. Bridget and her mom, Desni, attended a congressional hearing in Washington D.C. to help pass the Healthcare Reform Bill forbidding insurance companies from denying coverage of those with pre-existing conditions. There they met with members of congress and the press and told her story. Bridget has attended every Relay for Life in her home county since her birth in 2006, but will be walking the survivor lap for the fourth time this year. Finally, Bridget is the inspiration for the “Br” in “BrAva” bringing awareness for the need for increased funding for childhood cancer research and raising money for local families currently living through the trials of childhood cancer. Our hope is that one day, it will no longer be needed which is why we say, “Until there is a cure!”.