Caroline's Story

Caroline's story is one of tragedy turned to hope. Hope for the millions of pediatric cancer patients and their families that there IS help available.

Caroline Symmes was just three years old when she was diagnosed with Wilms Tumor Disease, the most curable type of kidney cancer in adults and children. The cure rate for Wilms Tumor is 90%.

But Caroline had one of the most aggressive tumors oncologists had ever seen. They diagnosed her as terminal, because there hadn’t been any research done on her tumor due to a lack of funding.

Caroline never cried or complained during her battle with cancer, she simply lived. With a smile on her face and an old soul, she lived her life to the fullest.

After her prognosis, the Symmes held one last party for Caroline. She told her daddy it was the best day of her life. Five weeks later, at the age of 5, Caroline passed away.

It wasn’t due to a lack of technology that Caroline lost the battle, it was due to a lack of funding for pediatric cancer research. The Caroline Symmes Endowment for Pediatric Cancer Research at Riley Hospital for Children is the gift she leaves behind, so that every child can just “live.”