No parent wants to hear that their child has a lump. Tom and Erin heard just that about their daughter Evelynn at a visit to the pediatrician. The pediatrician felt a mass growing on Evelynn's neck and sent her for an ultrasound.

"You can't help but explore the worst. We were faced with a lot of words: thyroid cancer, assess risk, radiation. It was very emotional," Erin said.

The ultrasound did not lead to a diagnosis, so the Schislers were referred to Ryan Miller, MD, a pediatric endocrinologist at University of Maryland Children's Hospital (UMCH) who met them close to home at University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center for a thyroid test. When that came back normal, Dr. Miller referred the family to Kevin Pereira, MBBS, a pediatric otolaryngologist at UMCH in downtown Baltimore. Dr. Pereira, along with Judy Oakley, NP, were determined to get to the bottom of Evelynn's tumor.

Evelynn ENT Peds PatientDr. Pereira, Nurse Oakley and the pediatric radiology team performed a series of tests including an MRI, a CT scan and fine needle aspiration to scan and biopsy the tumor. When these tests turned out inconclusive, Dr. Pereira and Oakley recommended completely removing the tumor.

The Schislers met with Scott Strome, MD, professor and chairman of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, to discuss the benefits and risks of the surgery.

"Dr. Strome was wearing a giraffe tie when he first met with us. We knew that was a green light right away," Tom said, jokingly.

Fashion choices aside, the entire Schisler family felt comfortable with the team and confident that the surgery would be Evelynn's best option.

"Some of these people were put into our lives for a reason. Dr. Miller was so helpful fielding our emails. Janet from pediatric radiology even came up to see us in the waiting room the day of Evelynn's surgery. We've never once doubted that we received the best care possible," Erin said.

Evelynn's tumor was determined to be an adenochondroma, a rare yet benign mass of normal tissue that had formed abnormally inside the right lobe of her thyroid. Dr. Pereira performed a hemi-thyroidectomy to completely remove the right lobe. The left lobe of Evelynn's thyroid remained intact.

Although they removed the tumor, Dr. Pereira and Nurse Oakley performed additional tests on Evelynn's remaining left lobe of her thyroid to make sure that the tumor had not caused damage to its function.

Now, Evelynn's health is in the clear. She comes back to UMCH for check-ups every six months, and Dr. Pereira and Nurse Oakley are confident that the tumor will not return.

For other parents of children going through a hospital stay and scary diagnosis, Erin advises, "Try to make the experience fun for your child. Listen to the doctors, they really care. They will love your child."

Evelynn ENT Peds Patient with family

To make an appointment, please call 1-800-492-5538.