Nearly six months after an 11-year-old old Texas girl was diagnosed with an incurable brain tumor called diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, or DIPG, doctors can no longer find a trace of it after her family and friends prayed for a miracle.
“And we got it,” said Gena Doss, the mother of Roxli Doss, in an interview with KVUE.
And now everyone is thanking God for His blessing.
“Praise God we did,” her husband, Scott, said.
Dr. Virginia Harrod with Dell Children’s Medical Center told KVUE that DIPG is a rare and devastating disease.
"It is very rare, but when we see it, it is a devastating disease. You have decreased ability to swallow, sometimes vision loss, decreased ability to talk, eventually difficulty with breathing,” she said.
The doctor explained that the 11-year-old had gone through weeks of radiation treatment but there was no expectation that the tumor would just disappear. Roxli’s recovery she said is “unbelievable.”
Radiation therapy is currently the primary therapy for newly diagnosed DIPG in children older than 3, according to St. Jude Children’s Research hospital. It uses high-energy X-rays from a specialized machine or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. The treatment, however, does not cure patients.
"When I first saw Roxli's MRI scan, it was actually unbelievable,” Harrod said. “The tumor is undetectable on the MRI scan, which is really unusual.”
And in case there is any doubt about Roxli’s initial diagnosis, her father said her disease was confirmed by experts at several different hospitals.
"At Dell Children’s, Texas Children’s, at Dana-Farber, at John Hopkins, and MD Anderson, all agreed it was DIPG,” Scott Doss said.
Organizers of a support group on Facebook called Roxli’s Rox Star Benefit for the girl who was diagnosed with the tumor in June explained in July that she loves Jesus “to her core” and their community was heartbroken to learn of her diagnosis.
“We have had the blessing of watching Roxli grow from the time she was in her momma’s belly. Rox is a child so full of joy and with a heart the size of TX. She loves her family fiercely, horses & Jesus to her core. To know her is to absolutely adore her. Roxli has always captivated hearts because her joy is contagious!”
While doctors treated Roxli with radiation they did not expect to cure her. The Buda community, where the family lives, decided to pray with her parents for a miracle.
“Her diagnosis has broken the hearts of our entire community. We have been taken to our knees and called to battle by storming the gates of heaven with our faith filled prayers. We know the one thing the doctors didn’t factor in was our God, and He is in the business of miracles!” the group said.
And on Monday, as word spread of Roxli’s unexpected recovery, the group gave God all the praise and thanked everyone who prayed.
“All the PRAISE, and GLORY, and HONOR to our amazing God!! 2018 will go down in my history book as the year God allowed us to witness the miracle of a lifetime! Over and over I have given him thanks for what He's done IN and THROUGH sweet Roxli. Thank you all for being a part of her story, for praying heaven down and for your generosity!” they wrote.
Doctors are currently monitoring Roxli and she is expected to undergo treatments, such as immunotherapy, as a precaution.
In a poem written by Roxli in school this past Thanksgiving, she wrote: “To everyone, thank you. You were kind to me, you raised money for me, you prayed for me, and you healed me. You showed the world, not all heroes wear capes.”