Kristina Judkins didn’t want gifts for herself at her birthday this year.

Instead, the 7-year-old who spent the past five years battling cancer wanted gifts to replenish the toy box on the pediatric floor at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor.

That’s just the way she rolls.

“Kristina spent a lot of time at EMMC. The toy box brought her many hours of enjoyment,” her uncle Steve Martin of Augusta said in an email to the Morning Sentinel. “She is a pretty amazing little girl, very caring with the notion of helping out other children who have to deal with this nasty disease.”

On Saturday, Kristina, her mother, Tiffany Judkins, 32, of Brewer, and other members of Kristina’s Angel Armies walked three miles during the Maine Children’s Cancer Program 2014 Walk at the Alfond Youth Center in Waterville. The group raised more than $400 for children’s cancer research, her mother said by phone Sunday.

“We did the walk because my daughter is a cancer survivor,” Tiffany Judkins said. “We walked all three miles. We did the whole thing.”

In all, more than 50 people participated in the walk, she said.

Kristina’s great grandmother, Lillian Martin, her aunt Brenda Roy and uncle Don Martin all live in Waterville. Her father, Dwayne Judkins, who lives in Veazie, is still very active in her life and her recovery. She said she didn’t know how much money was raised overall Saturday.

Kristina, now a second grader and the goalie for her travel soccer team, was two years old when she was diagnosed in March 2009 with a yolk sac or germ cell tumor, a rare form of cancer found in children. In Kristina’s case, the tumor prevented her from going to the bathroom and was spreading from the area of her buttocks into her abdomen and the lower spine.

Six months later, after many hospital stays, five or six rounds of chemotherapy, two bouts of blood sepsis infection and multiple surgeries, she was finally in remission in September 2009.

“Although the tumor was gone, the aftermath of cancer did its toll on her body and hindered her organs working properly for a few years afterwards,” Tiffany writes on Kristina’s Angel Armies Facebook page.

“I am so proud that my daughter overcame and is a very energetic little girl who is now 7 years old, and we are forever grateful for the staff, family and friends that helped support us emotionally and physically,” she writes. “This year we decided as her 5th year of remission, we wanted to give back to all those who have helped us and for those who are currently suffering. Please help us to reach our goal and to celebrate childhood the way it should be. No child should have to fight cancer.”

Kristina, who was suited up for a soccer game Sunday, was too shy to be interviewed on the phone by a reporter.

“She’s a strong little girl. She still has a little bit of the tumor left at the base of her spine, but they don’t want to mess with it because it’s benign right now and she goes for once a year checkups,” Tiffany said. “She made it through it all. She wants to help other children that are in the same boat that she used to be in.”

The next fundraiser for cancer awareness for Kristina and her mother is Oct. 19 for the Pound the Pavement for Pancreatic Cancer in Brewer.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

Twitter: @Doug_Harlow

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