“I think you should have a seat”…. The worst seven words a parent can hear.

On December 1st, Maggie-Jo Roqueni aka “MJ the Fighter” was a 3-year-old who was struggling to keep food down and visited a Gastroenterologist doctor after months of no relief. After about 3 minutes he sent us immediately to the Emergency Room for a head CT, the GI doctor feared the worst, and he was right. When the Doctor came in and said, “I think you should have a seat,” I knew it wasn’t good news. MJ was diagnosed with a 5-cm brain tumor sitting on her brain stem. She was admitted the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Banner Diamond Children’s Hospital in Tucson to have a lifesaving surgery scheduled on Tuesday, December 5, followed by 3 days of intubation. We sat and waited to see what life had next in store.

MJ was diagnosed with an Ependymoma, a very rare brain tumor only seen once that year at Banner Diamond Children’s Hospital. MJ showed her strength and did well off the ventilator, started to eat and began to walk on her own. She was released to heal at home waiting for the next round in her fight which called for daily radiation treatments for at least 4 to 6 weeks as not all of her brain tumor was able to be resected.

Maggie-Jo became the princess of the hospital, the doctors, nurses, and administration staff. They rally behind her at every scan and bring her donuts, which are her go to after sedation pick me up.

As a family, we thank anyone in advance for your faith and support in our little fighter. With your help MJ can will and will survive this rare condition.
Friends of Layla

Friends of Layla

Layla’s Legacy Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization funding innovative pediatric brain cancer research while bringing hope and help to families impacted by the disease.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Submit Your Story

Please use the link below to tell us about your child. There is a place to upload their photo as well. We do our best to have all submissions updated on the site within a week after they are submitted. Thank you for allowing us to share your journey with others!

More Friends of Layla Stories

In The Media

Sign up for our Newsletter

Scroll to Top