In 2011, then 10-year-old Bailey underwent a medical examination after experiencing a prolonged period of unexplained knee pain. An X-ray revealed that Bailey had a femoral bone tumor.
"The doctor came in and gave us news that no parent ever wants or imagines hearing," Bailey's mother Tiffany says. "She was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, which is a rare and aggressive form of bone cancer. Our biggest fear after hearing the diagnosis was that she would die."
Osteosarcoma typically affects younger age groups and tends to form in the longer bones of the body, particularly the arms and legs. In the U.S., approximately 800 cases of osteosarcoma are diagnosed each year, 400 of which are adolescents and teenagers.
Bailey was given three options for treating her cancer: replacing her knee and femur, amputating her leg, or undergoing rotationplasty — a complex procedure that involves amputating the cancerous portion of the leg and reattaching the foot backwards to the thigh, so the ankle can serve as the new knee joint.
A rotationplasty would enable Bailey to have improved functionality and mobility, as opposed to an above-the-knee amputation or a limb salvage with a metal rod implant.
"I knew, right when I heard, [that] I wanted rotationplasty," Bailey says.
"Right now, I'm playing basketball, volleyball, tennis, running, jumping rope, and I can ride a bike, too," Bailey says. "The experience was hard, but then after chemo and after I was done, I did so many fun things. I've learned that I'm stronger than I thought I was before."
• T-cell therapy for cancer
• The Muddy Puddles project