Name: Leah Nelson
Age: 17
Dance Studio: River Valley Dance Academy, Minnesota
Why Leah wants to be a voice for children fighting cancer:

Last year I had a germinoma brain tumor and had to do 14 rounds of chemo inpatient and 24 rounds of proton radiation. I also had two brain biopsies in order for me to be correctly diagnosed. After my first biopsy I was misdiagnosed with an autoimmune disorder and was treated for that for about four months. I want to be a voice for childhood cancer because I don’t think people realize that kids get cancer too. There are so many more resources and treatments for adults battling cancer. It’s important to spread awareness about the large difference in research funds between adults and children, so we can create a change and have more treatment options for kids. If my doctors had more resources to correctly diagnose me, I could have revived the right treatment sooner. No one should have to go through the pain, heartbreak, and trauma of cancer… but children especially shouldn’t have to. Too many children have lost their lives to this terrible disease. Thankfully, I won my battle and was declared in remission in April. So it is now part of my mission to advocate and be a voice for children who are going through what couldn’t be better described as “hell”.