Sinoury was just two years old when she was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS), which is a soft tissue cancer most commonly affecting children between one and five years old.
RMS is usually found in areas naturally lacking in skeletal muscle, such as the head, neck, or genitourinary tract.
Sinoury’s tumor was wrapped around her optic nerve and was inoperable, as are most RMS cases. An aggressive treatment of chemotherapy and radiation was begun at once. Sinoury received radiation every weekday for three months, while also undergoing chemotherapy, which lasted a year. She has been in remission since that initial treatment, but that was just the beginning of her journey.
Sinoury has had several reconstructive surgeries. The part of her face that received radiation no longer develops normally. As the rest of her face grows and matures, surgeries are performed to work the growth and nongrowth areas together.
Her pituitary gland is no longer functional, so developmental growth has stopped for Sinoury. She received growth hormones for five years and just recently received her last injection, being informed that her growth has stopped.
She is blind in her right eye and has regular visits to an oncologist, a neurologist, a neuropsychologist, an endocrinologist, and cranial/facial surgeons.
She knows words many adults cannot pronounce, and she has lost friends to death even though she is only 15 years old. But don’t feel sorry for this princess!
Sinoury believes everything happens for a reason, and as she so astutely points out, “Once you know this is the size you will always be, deal with it!”
It doesn’t bother her for people to ask about her experiences because she says, “It’s just part of life.” She realistically recognizes that her journey has offered her many opportunities she may never have experienced otherwise. She has met numerous celebrities and been the guest of others; she has attended top-notch fashion shows at some of the ritziest spots in Texas, and her art has been featured in the Children’s Cancer Fund publications. Perhaps that has influenced her future plans. She hopes to attend the Art Institute of Houston and major in fashion design.
Sinoury attends Harmony High School, where she says, “I don’t feel any different from anybody else. Everybody knows each other and treats each other the same.”
Sinoury is very artistic and loves to sing. She cannot participate in rigorous athletics, but she will serve as a Junior Varsity cheerleader next year.
Her family and friends are pleased to see her trying new things and working toward the future.
She is the daughter of Darin and Mischell Lindsey, and has two older brothers and two younger sisters. Mischell was pregnant with twins when Sinoury was diagnosed.
Even though Mischell admits there are times her “mama bear” protective instincts come out, most of the time she realizes that she must let Sinoury do the activities she can handle and not place more limitations on her than are already there.
Mischell acknowledges that with the length of time this has endured and Sinoury’s young age at the time of her diagnosis, cancer has just become “part of our lives.” “We all do the best we can and are very grateful for organizations like the American Cancer Society, the Children’s Cancer Fund, Ronald McDonald House, and many others. Seeing our community come together to help raise funds and awareness is especially gratifying to me, Sinoury, and the rest of our family.”
Mischell gives us a statistic to mull over as we decide how much we will support the Upshur County Relay for Life. Four years before Sinoury was diagnosed, the cure rate for RMS was zero.
By the time Sinoury was diagnosed, the cure rate had gone up to 60 percent! That is because so many people have stepped up and supported the effort to cure cancer.
Congratulate Sinoury on her princess status and open your hearts and pocketbooks for cancer research!