The Gift of Hope

Dr. Applebaum and Bella

A few years ago, we introduced you to Bella Raffin. We are thrilled to share this inspiring update.  

Bella was only 8 when she was diagnosed with Stage IV neuroblastoma, a solid cancerous tumor that begins most often in the nerve cells outside the brain of infants and children younger than 5.  

With family by her side, and under the care of Conquer Cancer researcher, Dr. Mark Applebaum, Bella endured 18 months of painful treatments, long stays in the hospital, and even some setbacks along the way. 

Every Day is Thanksgiving 

In 2018 - two days before Thanksgiving - the Raffins got the news for which they will be forever grateful: finally, Bella’s scans showed no sign of cancer.  

“She is now 12 and thriving,” said Bella’s mom, Brandy Raffin. "Bella loves spending time with her sisters, music, and fashion. She’s a great shopper who loves looking for unique things.” 

Every day since learning Bella is cancer-free has felt like Thanksgiving Day for the Raffins. They are especially thankful for Conquer Cancer donors whose gifts fund researchers like Dr. Applebaum.  

“We are blessed,” said Brandy, who wants families who may be facing the holidays with the worries cancer can bring to know Cancer Research Saves Lives™. “Bella is our miracle.” 

Bella’s Holiday Wish 

This holiday season, you will find Bella shopping in local antique shops and garage sales for family and friends on her gift list. But the gift Bella and her family wants to give anyone conquering cancer – the peace that good health brings – cannot be found in any store. 

“Our wish is that Bella's story will give other families and children the hope they need as they are navigating their journey,” said Brandy. “There is always hope beyond what you can initially see.”