For two months, doctors tried to figure out what was causing Caitlyn’s pain. Maybe it was childhood arthritis. Maybe she had injured a tendon, or had a problem with a ligament.
Then, two days after Caitlyn’s 12th birthday, on March 3, she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, an aggressive bone cancer.
“It was a shocker,” said Robert Lippolis, Caitlyn’s dad. “We had no clue.”
Physicians at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland ran tests, performed MRIs and biopsied the tumor near Caitlyn’s right knee.
“They said it was a very, very aggressive form,” Robert said. “We needed to move fast.”
Caitlyn began chemotherapy two weeks later. After 11 weeks of treatment, the family received more bad news. The chemotherapy was no match for the growing tumor. Instead of dying, the tumor had grown by 50 percent.