Samantha's Story 

Samantha began as a patient with Duke in 2017, when she was four years old.  She was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor of the optic nerve and completed fifteen months of chemotherapy. 

In July of 2023, Samantha became the first patient in pediatric neuro-oncology at Duke Children’s to complete the clinical trial she began 2021. This is the second time Samantha has had to have treatment for her brain tumor, and her family is happy to report that she was able to ring the bell in July and go off of treatment with encouraging results from the trial drug.  Samantha and her family have felt the direct impact of research these past few years, as Samantha's participation in the trial allowed her to be on treatment with minimal side effects and enjoy being the sweet, brilliant, and loving ten-year-old that she is. 

Samantha, who lives in Wake County, is 10 and is in the fourth grade. She enjoys dance, Girls on the Run, and chorus.  She has two 5ks under her belt! Samantha and her family are grateful to her Duke Children's care team and to everyone who supports pediatric cancer care and research at Duke Children's. 

A photo of Samantha, a 10-year-old white girl with multicolored hair and a big smile.

All of the caregivers at Duke Children’s have always taken the time to connect to Samantha and really listen to her. They’ve celebrated all of her accomplishments right along with us.

Lauren, Samantha's mom