'Miracle child' given sweet gifts

Tumor-afflicted child lives a year past her physicians' projections. She loves to bake and got a special visit to Wonderland Bakery.

November 01, 2007|By Brianna Bailey

Seven-year-old Cheyenne Broswell’s freckled face lit up like a Christmas tree when chef Allyson Ames gave her a new teddy bear Thursday morning at South Coast Plaza.

Debra Broswell calls her granddaughter a “miracle child.”

“With her, every single day is a miracle,” Debra Broswell said. “Whenever people are having a bad day, I just point at her and say ‘you’re looking at a miracle.’”

When she was 6, Cheyenne’s doctors told her family an aggressive tumor had a stranglehold on her brain stem. They gave her as little as three weeks to live if she didn’t start chemotherapy immediately.


Even with treatment, doctors gave Cheyenne only about a year to live.

That was last Christmas.

“Miracles happen every day, so why not to Cheyenne,” Debra Broswell said. She has faith her granddaughter will beat the odds, no matter what the doctors say.

Cheyenne was one of two young cancer patients from Children’s Hospital of Orange County who were treated to cookies, candy, individual baking sets and other toys Thursday at the children’s bakery-themed boutique Wonderland Bakery Adventure.

Cheyenne likes to tell slightly off-color jokes about Winnie the Pooh and wants to fly airplanes when she grows up.

Spending a lot of her time with adults, doctors and nurses in the children’s hospital oncology center seems to have given her wisdom and wit beyond her years.

Being sick sometimes makes her sad, she said.

“It takes me away from all my friends. I left all my friends at school. But now I have more friends than anyone — all the doctors and nurses.”

Cheyenne’s become something of a star at the oncology center.

“All of our children at CHOC are special, but Cheyenne is just a presence,” said Lisa Stevens, a communications specialist at CHOC who helped to arrange the bakery boutique visit. “You meet her once, and you can’t ever forget her. She lights up the room.”

The bakery store visit was a fitting treat for Cheyenne, who has loved to bake since she was 4. She often makes pies and cupcakes for her doctors and nurses at CHOC. Her favorite dish to make is pecan pie.

“She never eats what she makes; she always gives it away,” said Cheyenne’s mother, Virginia. “She’s very selfless.”

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