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Patient Story: Bethany Stephens

Watch: Bethany Stephens has battled cancer twice. And she’s only 11.

Bethany Stephens was 5 years old when her mother, Tracy, noticed a lump under the skin on Bethany’s abdomen.

After a few tests and X-rays, Bethany ended up at the Makenna David Pediatric Emergency Center at UK HealthCare. That’s when the kindergartner was diagnosed with Wilms tumor, the most common type of kidney cancer in kids.

“It was just one of those kind of life-defining moments for our family,” Tracy said. “I mean, immediately, you think cancer, you think death.”

But the experts at Kentucky Children’s Hospital had other plans. Bethany and her parents first met with Dr. Joseph Ioconno, a pediatric surgeon at KCH. Despite her fear about her daughter’s diagnosis, Tracy said Ioconno made her feel better.

“He looked at us and he said, ‘OK, you’ve done nothing wrong. She’s here. We’re going to get her better,'” Tracy recalled.

Ioconno was right, but the road to recovery was a long one. Watch Bethany’s story below to see how she conquered not one but two cancer diagnoses and find out how the 11-year-old is doing today.

Part 1

(4:28)

Part 2

(4:16)

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