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The Rosploch family poses on the swingset in the back yard of their La Salle home. Lily Rosploch (right) played on the swings Wednesday for the first time in a year. The 3-year-old has been fighting cancer since her birthday last June, but recently the family learned she has “No Evidence of Disease.” With Lily are her mom and dad, Maria and Mike, and sister Mya.
Mike and Maria Rosploch haven’t seen much of their friends during the past year since their oldest daughter, Lily, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma last June, on her third birthday. But the couple was able to attend the St. Bede Auction last Saturday, and there Maria got good news. Lily’s most recent test results were in: “No Evidence of Disease.” Mike said he found out Friday but waited to let Maria hear it in a public announcement at the auction Saturday. She was presented with a collage of photos of her daughter with the words “Mom, how do we plan for a miracle? Believe ... I’m N.E.D. – No Evidence of Disease.” “They don’t say she’s cancer-free yet,” Mike said, but the news is a huge relief. “We’re at the stage now, call it whatever you want — we’re happy.” At their La Salle home Wednesday night, Lily grabbed her dad’s nose and giggled as she pretended to throw it away from him. “She likes to throw noses,” Mike said. Maria said the little game has gotten the family through a lot of difficult situations. “She’s had some setbacks,” Mike said. “We’re probably two months behind where we should be right now.” Mike said the doctors know there are undeveloped cancer cells in Lily’s body. But because they know that, they will proceed with another form of treatment — one Mike said is only a year or two old. In the coming months, Lily will receive one medication to “mark” the neuroblastoma cells, then another to cause those cells to mature. Then her immune system can go after it, Mike said. The Rosplochs’ little fighter will turn 4 this summer, and she is happily planning to spend it doing things other 4-year-olds love to do: getting pushed on a swing and pulled in a wagon, blowing bubbles and catching them. “This is the best she’s felt since it all started,” Maria said, as Lily flashed shy smiles and gave kisses to her baby sister, 9-month-old Mya. “Mya’s been very easy-going through all this,” Maria said, counting her blessings. The couple also expressed gratitude for the outpouring of support they received from the community, which hosted too many rallies and fundraisers too count. “How can we ever repay that?” Mike said of the multitude of kindnesses. The Rosplochs said the experiences of the past year have changed them forever. “You realize what is really important,” Mike said. “There’s not a lot that is that big of a deal anymore.” After spending the last year doting on her, the couple now faces a happy new challenge. “She doesn’t know the word ‘no,’” Mike said with a smile that wouldn’t go away. “We’re trying to teach it to her now.” Maria said she can rest easier now that Lily is in a good place with her health. “We won a battle, finally,” Mike added. “That’s how I feel. Hopefully the tide has turned a little bit in our favor.” Maria held Mya but kept her eyes on her older daughter. “It’s hard not to give Lily an extra smile and a hug,” she said. “It’s hard not to smile.”