After an 11-year-old girl was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, it miraculously disappeared without a trace, and doctors don’t know why. But, her family claims to know how she was healed.
Roxli Doss from Buda, Texas, was diagnosed with a rare, inoperable brain tumor when she was just 11 years old, leaving her family heartbroken. The troubling news come after the child began having continuous headaches and feeling fatigued. When her pediatrician couldn’t determine what was wrong, Roxli was sent to Dell Children’s Hospital in Austin, where it was discovered that she had a rare, malignant, high grade, aggressive brain tumor called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG).
It was the worst news her parents could receive. The devastating diagnosis was confirmed at five different hospitals after Roxli’s family visited Texas Children’s Hospital in Austin, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore, and University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston to get other opinions. Neurologists and oncologists at all five hospitals all agreed on the original diagnosis, and her parents were given the tragic news that there was no cure.
Not only was Roxli’s condition inoperable, but her prognosis was also extremely poor. Although DIPG is very rare with only between 200 and 300 children in the US diagnosed each year, it is a highly aggressive form of cancer. The malignant brain tumor, most commonly seen in children between the ages of five and nine, grows quickly and is also likely to spread.
Over time, the tumor, which is located at the base of the brain and top of the spine, affects the patient’s heartbeat, breathing, swallowing, eyesight, and balance. This occurs as the growing mass presses on the area of the brain called the pons, which is responsible for a number of critical bodily functions such as breathing, sleeping, and blood pressure.
Most people with this type of cancer only live for nine months following the primary diagnosis, and some don’t even make it long enough to receive radiation treatment, which is definitely not news any parent wants to receive. Hoping to slow the tumor’s growth and buy Roxli more time, however, doctors quickly put the Hays County girl in radiation therapy six days a week.
Meanwhile, her parents, Gena and Scott, hit their knees and prayed for a miracle. Doctors didn’t have high hopes of Roxli living long, but that didn’t stop her parents or the community from rallying around her, no matter how bleak the outlook. Everyone seemingly began showing their support for the courageous little girl as she bravely underwent radiation, and many joined her parents in prayer during their darkest hour.
After Roxli Doss underwent radiation treatment for weeks, everyone’s prayers were answered when neurologists decided to take a look and see how her condition was progressing. Three months after her diagnosis, an MRI was ordered, and it revealed something her doctors never expected. The scan showed no detectable signs of the tumor.
Roxli’s cancer had mysteriously disappeared without explanation, leaving doctors stumped. “When I first saw Roxli’s MRI scan, it was actually unbelievable,” Dr. Virginia Harrod, co-chief of pediatric neuro-oncology at Dell Children’s Hospital, told KVUE. “The tumor is undetectable on the MRI scan, which is really unusual.”
Although surgeons admit that there are case reports of certain cancers spontaneously regressing, the mechanism behind this rare phenomenon is not understood and a case like Roxli’s has never been documented, according to Daily Mail. While radiation shrinks DIPG tumors in 70 percent of patients, according to the Michael Mosier Foundation, the treatment typically only extends a patient’s life by about three months, making Roxli’s case all the more miraculous.
Doctors theorize an immune response by the body may be responsible for rare, spontaneous recoveries like Roxli’s, but her family has another explanation. It’s a miracle, and they’re thanking God for it. “Every day we still say it. It’s kind of our family thing that God healed Roxli,” Gena said.
Because the cancer is aggressive and can return, Roxli will undergo immunotherapy to boosts the body’s natural defenses to fight cancer and prevent new cancer cells from growing. Meanwhile, she’s back to doing what she loves; namely, horseback riding. “We didn’t know how long she would be healthy,” Scott admitted before adding, “Look at her, she’s just doing awesome.”
After initially receiving the diagnosis and before the miraculous recovery, Scott prophetically said, “The doctors guide us, but really, the true guidance that we’re looking for, at this point, is from God because that’s who we need our help from right now. We’re really just praying for a miracle.” Months after those words, Roxli Doss proved that miracles can happen, and prayer is most definitely powerful medicine that shouldn’t be underestimated. Although doctors fear the tumor’s return, the Doss family already knows what to do — so, let’s share Roxli’s story to inspire a prayer chain that continues to claim healing for this little girl and her family.