Young brain tumor patient now cancer free

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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- A 12-year-old battling a rare brain tumor celebrated a milestone in a very big way Thursday.

Izabella Voelker, known as Bella, says her journey began with a pain in her elbow. Last May, she was diagnosed with a very rare brain tumor. The outlook seemed so hopeless, Bella went so far as to write her own will.

On the advice of her doctors at Children's Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha, her family decided to send her to Scripps Proton Therapy Center in San Diego. Proton therapy precisely targets tumors instead of exposing the rest of her body to radiation.

"With regular treatment, they would have had to radiate my spine," Bella said in a previous interview with WOWT 6 News. "The radiation would have hit my organs as well."

She went through week after week of intense radiation sessions. After having her implanted treatment devices removed at Children's Hospital and Medical Center, Izabella was asked how she would celebrate the huge milestone, she suggested striking a gong. That's just what she did Thursday.

Other patients will have the same chance when they get a port removed.

"They have something that they can use to celebrate and to further express their feelings and just to be done with all this,” said Izabella.

She is currently in remission and off treatment. There was no tumor to be seen in her last MRI.