At just 18 months old, Reese Whitney was diagnosed with a very rare and aggressive form of brain cancer—anaplastic ependymoma. While Reese will always have a small spot on her brain, she completed treatment in May 2014. Now, Reese enjoys a life as normal as possible and has regular check-ups to make sure her spot doesn’t grow.

Everyone knows that babies sleep a lot, but when 17 month old Reese was sleeping for 23 hours a day, her mom and dad knew that something wasn’t quite right. She was running high fevers and always seemed to be dehydrated, no matter how much fluid they gave her. They took her into the doctor, and what they found out was something they never expected. Reese had a rare and aggressive brain cancer, that required immediate brain surgery—a surgery she might not make it through.

Reese survived the surgery and then spent a month in the hospital before beginning a year of chemo treatments to shrink the remainder of the tumor. Reese will never be “cancer free”, as there remains a small spot on her brain that doctors closely monitor. As long as that spot doesn’t grow, Reese should be able to enjoy a fairly normal life as little sister to her older siblings, and loves her new role of big sister to Hudson.