Alachua girl celebrates end of cancer treatments

Ten-month-old Paityn “Sweet P” Benson was recently able to ring the bell to signify she is finished with her treatment for neuroblastoma.

“She is officially done with the treatment and her chemotherapy,” said Caitlin Benson, Paityn’s mother. “She is doing fantastic.”

Paityn was born March 15, 2020, and diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a type of childhood cancer, in early summer. Mainstreet Daily News documented her story last November. 

The bell ringing ceremony is held at UF Shands Hospital for patients at the end of their regimen.

For Paityn, that was the procedure she had just a few days before Christmas, when doctors removed a central line and conducted a bone marrow biopsy. The bone marrow results arrived about a week later with no evidence of the disease. Previous scans showed the same. So, hospital staff scheduled the ceremony for Paityn’s 10-month birthday.

Doctors had used the central line to administer chemotherapy. Caitlin said its removal has allowed Paityn to do more of the things a child her age would do – such as crawl on her belly, which was uncomfortable for Paityn when the line was still present.

Now, Paityn is at low risk for a recurrence of cancer.

“There’s always the chance it could come back,” Caitlin said. However, she said that is unlikely since no evidence of cancer was ever found in Paityn’s blood or bone marrow. To keep tabs, doctors will conduct another post-round of scans this month.

Many people have kept up with Sweet P’s story thought social media, including a GoFundMe page friends of the family set up to help defray medical costs. 

Now, they are all experiencing the triumph of Sweet P’s recovery.

“We are very, very excited,” Caitlin said. “It’s been quite the journey.”

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