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Young Girl Fighting Through Obstacles With Odds Against Her In Battle With Spinal Tumor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Children with cancer have many obstacles in front of them including surgeries, treatments, side effects and therapies. CBS3 introduces you to Isabel, or "Izzy" as her family calls her.

She has conquered more obstacles than a little girl should ever have. Plus, she's crossed a few finish lines too, even with the odds against her.

Eight-year-old Isabel Rita is one smart cookie and she loves science.

"I kind of like, I just like think it's cool. You get scientists basically like see everything through almost like a different perspective sort of," Isabel said.

She also loves to perform.

"She dances, jazz, hip-hop, musical theater, she sings. Last year, she learned how to swim and now, she's working on riding her bike," her mom Sonia said.

Sonia says Izzy wasn't always able to dance and ride a bike.

"She went from being a typically-developing baby to a rag doll who really couldn't sit up on her own," Sonia said.

When Izzy was just about 1 year old, she started having trouble moving her neck. It turned out she had a massive tumor on her spine.

She went through 14 months of chemotherapy, 24 chemo infusions and now, she gets routine MRIs to make sure the tumor remains stable.

"As long as she's not regressing in what she can do physically then we're in a good spot. I'm just gonna knock on wood," Sonia said.

Throughout treatment and beyond, Izzy has always pushed herself. She's participated in Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation's Lemon Runs and this year, she went to the New York City Marathon.

Her mom and dad ran in the race to raise money for Alex's and Izzy took part in the 1-mile race.

"Everyone took off for the 1-mile race and Iz did the whole thing in her walker," Sonia said.

"At a quarter mile, I wanted to go in the stroller, halfway, I'm like I'm halfway done that was easy! I have to keep going and I kept going," Izzy said. "All that mattered was I didn't give up."

Izzy even helped her parents raise money, making $2,500 by holding a lemonade stand.

Sonia says the foundation offers so much hope, especially with its Cord Fund, which specifically funds research into spinal tumors.

"If by some miracle there's some technology that comes out to help have this tumor removed or treatment so don't have to worry about it anymore that hope helps families like me keep going," Sonia said.

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