"It has brought our family closer together enduring a trial like this," the little girl's mother revealed.
Lula Beth Bowden was 3-years-old when she was diagnosed with Stage 2 Wilms tumor — a rare type of pediatric cancer — in March this year. "The month of March was a long, messy one," the brave little girl's mom, Kristin Bowden told CafeMom. "She was a super healthy child, rarely got sick. But March took a turn for the worse." When extensive testing revealed that Lula Beth had a football-sized tumor on her left kidney, the Bowden family found it extremely hard to process the news. "We never expected this news to happen to us. It’s always sad, heartbreaking stories of others that you see, until it happens to you," Bowden, a photographer, told Good Morning America.
As heartbreaking as the diagnosis was, the family — especially Lula Beth — was determined not to let the disease break them. "Little Lula Beth has been a champ throughout the whole journey," the proud mother boasted. "It has brought our family closer together enduring a trial like this!" Their resilience served them well as now, after months of treatment, the inspiring youngster got the chance to hold up a sign that displayed six simple, powerful words: "It came. We fought. I won." The now 4-year-old was declared cancer-free last month and the family marked the occasion with a special photoshoot that celebrated Lula Beth's journey.
"I have tried to document this season in our lives so we could look back on it forever," said Bowden, who captured the heartwarming shots of her daughter dressed in a bright orange dress. "It's been a very emotional time for us." The mother-of-two revealed that her Lula Beth had to undergo surgery for removal of the football-sized tumor and entire kidney, which was followed by a treatment regimen that consisted of 13 rounds of chemotherapy within 22 weeks.
"She flawlessly got through them all and remained the light in our family," Bowden revealed. Even when her hair started coming off in clumps after the 11th round of chemo, the little girl barely let it affect her. "Let's do it tonight," she said, when they told her her hair had to go "very short" and much to her parents' surprise, so did her big brother. "Kohen didn't even blink an eye and said she could shave his too so she didn't have to endure it alone," said Bowden. "I don't think it ever really was even a question with him. He just knew as soon as sissy had to shave hers, he would shave his as well."
"Watching him with his sister now melts my heart," she added. "He definitely babies her more now and never wants her to feel anything but normal." Soon, other members of the family followed Kohen's example. "[She got to shave] her dad's the next night and then about six other family members the end of that week too," Bowden revealed. "She has had a ton of support." Today, the family from Vernal, Utah, is grateful for Lula Beth's good health. "We have been so happy and it has taught us to never take life or health for granted," her mom said.
As for Lula Beth, Bowden said that "she has not complained once and graciously completed her course." The proud mom wants other parents going through the same trials to keep pushing irrespective of the challenges they face along the way. "Kids are so resilient," she said."They are so strong! They aren't in this alone. This is one of the hardest trials a parent could be given, but it will make you stronger as a person, parent, and a family. It changes your whole outlook on life."