Girl, 5, Diagnosed With Rare and Aggressive Cancer After Having Back Pain

A 5-year-old girl was diagnosed with an extremely rare and aggressive form of childhood cancer after experiencing pain in her back.

The family, from Hertfordshire in southern England, said Arianna Solieri started complaining about pain near her shoulder blades in July 2021.

Initially, they assumed the problem was due to muscular issues after having bought her a new bed.

But after months of having back pain and going back and forth to doctors, the family became more concerned.

In November, the pain had moved to her lower back and it became clear that something was "very wrong," the girl's father, Chris Solieri, told The Sun.

Eventually, the pain became agonizing for the girl and, at one point, she also began suffering from a high temperature.

Doctors prescribed her antibiotics for a possible kidney infection, but the girl's mother was concerned that something more serious was happening to her daughter. She took the 5-year-old back to see the doctor, and also made at least eight visits to the ER in six days.

The parents insisted that doctors conduct further tests on their daughter, and eventually scans revealed a tumor above the girl's left kidney.

On November 19, doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London diagnosed her with stage 4, high-risk, neuroblastoma—a rare and aggressive cancer that affects around 100 children every year in the United Kingdom.

While the main tumor was located above the girl's kidney, the cancer had spread to multiple bones and her bone marrow, according to a GoFundMe page set up to help the family.

The 5-year-old is currently undergoing an aggressive treatment plan at Great Ormond Street—one of the world's leading children's hospitals. The treatment plan, which involves six rounds of chemotherapy, will likely last between 18 and 36 months.

Neuroblastomas are difficult to treat and almost half of these types of cancers return despite intensive treatment.

Chris Solieri said: "With this type of diagnosis, we were given a 40-50 percent chance of survival with a 60 percent chance of relapse.

"In a week, we found out our daughter had cancer, her survival rate had now dropped, and she would now have to go under an aggressive treatment plan. It was the most devastating week of our lives."

The GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with the costs of caring for the 5-year-old in hospital, including travel, hotel stays and food. So far, the page has raised more than £63,000 ($86,000.)

But it is likely that the girl will need further treatment in the United States that is not funded by the U.K.'s public National Health Service, according to the GoFundMe page.

"Arianna is so strong and she continues to laugh and smile, taking everything in her stride," the organizer of the GoFundMe page wrote. "Arianna, we are all behind you sweet girl. Your resilience and strength and that of your mummy and daddy will see you through this. We love you!"

A child in hospital
Stock image showing a child in hospital. A 5-year-old girl from England has been diagnosed with an aggressive and rare cancer after experiencing back pain. iStock