'Smart, Sassy and Fun' 4-Year-Old Girl Diagnosed with Stage 4 Cancer: 'Our World Stopped'

Imi Schneider has been undergoing chemotherapy after doctors found a "grapefruit-sized" Wilms tumor on her kidney

Imi Schneider
Imi Schneider. Photo: GoFundMe

A 4-year-old girl is in need of help as she fights an aggressive form of kidney cancer.

Imi Schneider was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in September after doctors found a "grapefruit-sized" Wilms tumor on her kidney, according to a GoFundMe page set up by a relative, Parisa Faramarzi, for the girl's family.

Wilms tumors, which are also referred to as nephroblastoma, only affect children and start in the kidney, according to the American Cancer Society.

Parisa wrote that a CT scan confirmed that Imi also had spots on her lungs, showing how the cancer had progressed to stage four.

"Our world stopped for a moment," wrote Parisa, who started the GoFundMe on Tuesday to assist Imi's parents, Soraya Faramarzi and Bret Schneider, with the growing medical and living expenses.

"Relieving some of the financial pressures placed on Imi’s family will allow them to focus on the love and support they need to provide while not having to stress about how they will afford the treatment that is healing our spunky girl," she explained on the page. "Any prayers, good thoughts, or positive vibes are also greatly appreciated as we continue this fight alongside her."

Imi Schneider
Imi Schneider. GoFundMe

Imi's health ailments first began in late August when the 4 year old — whom Parisa described as "smart, sassy and fun" — started noticing blood in her urine, according to the GoFundMe.

Concerned, her parents took her to a doctor, who ruled out the possibility of a urinary tract infection. Imi was then referred to a nephrologist, where she underwent an ultrasound to get to the bottom of the issue, Parisa explained.

On Sept. 18, doctors diagnosed Imi with the kidney tumor, the GoFundMe stated.

She was immediately admitted to a hospital in St. Louis, Missouri and underwent surgery to completely remove the tumor, as well as her left kidney, where the tumor had been growing.

Imi Schneider
Imi Schneider. GoFundMe

Since then, the child has been undergoing chemotherapy — the regimen includes three different types over 25 weeks and a rescan after six weeks of treatment — while doctors keep a watchful eye on her lungs, according to the GoFundMe.

"Imi is a fighter," Parisa wrote. "She constantly says how proud she is of herself and we couldn’t be more proud of her. She has been strong and positive through all of these changes. She tackles each one and continues to offer love to all of us."

On Nov. 3, Imi had her rescan but things didn't go exactly as doctors had planned, Parisa said.

"Although the spots had not grown, they had not responded as much as they could have," she wrote on the fundraiser. "The doctors decided to add to the treatment plan radiation, a new chemo drug, as well as an additional 7 weeks of chemotherapy."

"This radiation is inpatient and requires her parents, Soraya and Bret, to be with her in the hospital," Parisa added.

Imi Schneider
Imi Schneider on a hospital helicopter. GoFundMe

As Imi continues to receive treatment, Parisa said they believe the odds are good that the 4-year-old girl will beat this.

"Thanks to incredible developments in modern medicine, most of these children (nearly 80-88%) make a full recovery and live a healthy life," she explained on the GoFundMe.

Still, she noted, "No matter how high the success rates, it is a terrifying experience to learn that your child has been diagnosed with this disease and must undergo surgery, chemo, and radiation to be cured. It is also terrifying and overwhelming to not know how you will financially be able to handle these treatments to save your child."

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With over $30,000 raised so far, Parisa ended her message on the GoFundMe with a simple request.

"[Soraya and Bret] have living expenses, medical expenses, and time needed to be off work for treatments that make these already incredibly hard times even harder," she wrote. "Anything helps. I know they are eternally grateful for any support they are able to receive."

Those interested in helping financially support Imi on her cancer journey can so do here.

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