Five-year-old Peyton hadn’t been feeling very well when her mother took her to the doctor complaining of headaches and vomiting. During a neurological exam, Peyton was physically weak and wobbly; her motor skills were obviously being affected by something. The doctor recommended Children’s Hospital Colorado for a CT scan.

Within 15 minutes of the scan, the Palermo family’s worst fears were realized, they were told that Peyton had an enlarged brain tumor on her cerebellum and needed surgery as soon as possible.

“We were going to the zoo after the doctor’s appointment,” Celeste Palermo, Peyton’s mother, explained. “This caught us off guard and we had no time to prepare or research. We weren’t ready, and yet, everyone at Children’s Colorado took care of us.”

Children’s Colorado's world-class experts jumped into action. They met with the Palermo family and committed to helping the family figure out the best course of treatment.

Within a day and a half, Peyton received a craniotomy, removing most, but not all, of the tumor. The position near the brain stem made it too risky to remove the mass in its entirety.

“Everyone from our pediatrician and Dr. Michael Handler, to the nursing staff and Sige, the smiling housekeeper, were thoughtful and concerned,” recalled Celeste. “It always seemed to us as if Peyton had a special place in their hearts and they treated her—and us, the anxious parents—with extra special care.”

At one of Peyton’s routine check-ups, a new “spot” was detected. Thankfully, the regrowth has been slow progressing and has not affected Peyton’s daily life. Although her parents are wary, they are also hopeful and have full confidence in the maintenance strategy of her doctors.

Peyton is an amazingly happy little girl who inspires everyone she encounters. Now 10 years old, she is
thriving, and enjoys tennis, skiing and reading. She is a true champion.


You support a top 10 children's hospital!