When Faith Marr was four years old, she was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer on her spine. At the time, doctors were uncertain if she would survive.
She had eight major surgeries and some of her vertebrae were replaced with titanium rods.
Faith is now 10 and came to StoryCorps with her father, Jerris Marr, to reflect on her fight against cancer.
Faith’s cancer is now in remission.
Click here for the transcript.
Faith Marr (FM): Yeah.
JM: I hated that you were in the hospital and it was incredibly painful for you.
FM: I couldn't even sit up it was so painful.
JM: That's right. But then at the same point, there was a lot of good in it because I got to spend so much time with you.
FM: I remember we would get tattoo pens from the gift shop. You would like, draw a little bumblebee on me and a little rose because that's my favorite flower.
JM: Yep. From your sternum down to your pelvic bone, you had a pretty good scar, and so we'd make that into the stem of a flower. And then to the left of that is a scar from your feeding tube during chemo.
FM: I call it my second bellybutton.
JM: That's right, and we would turn that one into a butterfly.
FM: And you promised on my eighteenth birthday we would go get a tattoo together.
JM: Mmm hmm. What do you feel that you've learned from cancer?
FM: I think I learned that you don't always have to keep like, your tears in and you just got to believe that you can do this. It's turned me into a mini-adult.
And my friend, he had brain cancer and I went up to him and I'm like, I know you're scared but the doctors told me that I won't live too and you've got to believe that you can make it. And he just started crying and he hugged me, and his grandma came up and she hugs hard. [Laughs]
So dad, how do you think I handled this happening to me?
JM: You're an amazing person. And it's going to be exciting for me to watch you continue to grow and develop into a young lady because your maturity has done nothing but inspire me to be a better person. And the strength that you demonstrated through so many of your procedures gave me the energy to be strong there for you.
FM: Do you still worry about me?
JM: Every day, every minute. But I'm not worried about this cancer coming back anymore because you've kicked its butt.
JM: You've beat it.