The 9-year-old girl’s extraordinary determination defeated ovarian cancer before entering puberty

When Kaylee Tolleson began complaining of stomach pain in late 2018, her parents took her to an urgent care center, where doctors told them she was just constipated.

But after months of doctors’ appointments, and no treatments easing the aching or the bloating, her parents took her to her pediatrician in March 2019.

The doctor felt Kaylee’s abdomen and, sensing something wasn’t right, sent her to Texas Children’s Hospital’s Emergency Center.

An ultrasound revealed a softball-sized tumor on Kaylee’s right ovary and, three weeks later, she was diagnosed with stage III ovarian cancer, very rare for someone her age

Suddenly, Kaylee had to stop attending third grade and drop out of ice skating lessons and Girl Scounts to start treatment.

After surgery and several rounds of chemotherapy, Kaylee, of Missouri City, was declared cancer-free in July.

Kaylee Tolleson, nine (pictured), of Missouri City, Texas, began complaining of severe stomach pain in late 2018

Doctors assumed Kaylee (left and right) was constipated until March 2019, when her pediatrician saw her and recommended she go to the hospital. An ultrasound revealed a softball-sized tumor on Kaylee’s right ovary

According to the American Cancer Society, ovarian cancer ranks fifth in cancer deaths among women and accounts for more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system

Signs and symptoms include abdominal pain, bloating, urinary frequency and heartburn.

But most women who are diagnosed are postmenopausal – 50 percent of patients are age 63 or older.

This makes Kaylee among the youngest of patients ever diagnosed.

In April, one week after she was diagnosed, she underwent surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible and her right ovary.

The tumor was sent off for a biopsy and, two weeks later, the Tollesons were told that, because the cancer had spread to Kaylee’s abdominal wall, she was stage III.

‘We almost fell off the chair when [the doctor] explained all of this to us,’ Kaylee’s mom Kelly Tolleson, said in an interview with Texas Children’s Hospital.

‘I asked over and over again: “Did it really spread? Where did it spread to? Please explain everything again.” That was a hard day.’

In April, Kaylee had surgery to remove the tumor, which sent off for a biopsy, and all of her right ovary. Pictured: Kaylee in the hospital

Two weeks after the biopsy, her parents were told the cancer had spread to her abdominal wall and she had stage III ovarian cancer. Pictured: Kaylee in the hospital


In April, Kaylee began chemotherapy and, after four months, she was declared cancer-free. Pictured: Kaylee meeting her favorite weatherman Travis Herzog

Kaylee immediately began chemotherapy – four rounds over 12 weeks – at Texas Children’s Cancer Center.

‘Her world was turned upside down,’ her mother told Good Morning America.

‘Every thing was taken away: her ice skating, her Girl Scouts, she couldn’t play outside. She was removed from school and couldn’t complete her last 9 weeks of third grade.’

Despite the debilitating side effects, Kaylee’s mother said that one thing that kept her daughter going were weather forecasts.

Kaylee wants to be a meteorologist and, when local weatherman Travis Herzog learned of her cancer battle, he invited her to visit the ABC-13 studios.

In mid-July, the family went in for a check-up and received the news that Kaylee’s scans were clear and she got to ring the cancer-free bell on the oncology ward.

‘It feels amazing to ring the bell because everyone will know that I finally finished my chemo treatment, and that I’m cancer-free,’ Kaylee told Texas Children’s.

‘I’m going to be getting out of here, busting my way out.’

Be aware of the four main symptoms of ovarian cancer