Just days after his parents noticed a bulge on his left side after a bath, Piersen Norris, who was 2 at the time, was diagnosed with a stage 3 nephroblastoma, or Wilms’ tumor, at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU. The rare kidney cancer predominantly affects children under five, and Piersen’s tumor was quickly identified by radiology staff during an emergency room visit.
Over the course of the next six months, Piersen would undergo three, six-week rounds of chemotherapy and have surgery to remove the tumor, one kidney, and his adrenal gland. Piersen’s parents, Bryasan and Troy, and older sister, Wramsey, rallied around him and created the team name “TheNorris4” to help keep his spirits up. “Piersen just fell right into treatment,” Bryasan remembers. “He never seemed to complain or even frown. After surgery, he woke up before the doctors thought he would, and he was ready to get out of bed and play.”
Today, Piersen is officially in remission and returns to the hospital every three months for blood work and CT scans. His last chemo treatment was three days after his third birthday, so the family celebrated both milestones with a big superhero party in February.
“We are a faith-based family, and Piersen kept his spirit through everything,” Bryasan describes. “He is a spirited little boy who loves to sing and dance and who is truly loved by his wonderful big sister, Wramsey. We were in this fight together, and Piersen moved through the journey with a smile on his face and joy in his heart.”