Cierrah French was recovering Wednesday at Boston Children’s Hospital after undergoing several hours of surgery Tuesday to remove a bone and cancerous tumor in her right leg, insert a steel rod and replace her knee.

French, 12, of Skowhegan, is doing well, according to her grandfather, Wayne Blodgett.

“She’s doing really good,” he said late Wednesday morning from her hospital room. “I’m actually sitting right beside her. According to her doctors, when they came out of surgery yesterday, they were pretty much 100 percent positive that they got all the cancer.”

Cierrah French, 12, sits with her grandparents Alicia and Wayne Blodgett on April 17 at their home in Skowhegan. Cierrah had surgery on her leg Tuesday in Boston and is “doing really good,” according to her grandfather. Morning Sentinel file photo by David Leaming

Cierrah spoke briefly to a Morning Sentinel reporter, just before nurses were about to reposition her in her bed.

“I’m a little sore, but I’m doing better than I was last night and yesterday,” she said.

Cierrah was diagnosed in 2018 with a rare form of cancer, chrondocarcinoma, which is resistant to chemotherapy and radiation. She had started complaining of pain in her leg in 2017, and it took a while for a diagnosis to be made.

Blodgett, 62, and his wife, Alicia, 58, are Cierrah’s guardians and are in Boston with her during her hospital stay. Wayne Blodgett said Cierrah really wants to be home for her 13th birthday, April 29.

“It’s probably going to be close,” he said. “I’m kind of hoping Saturday or Sunday, but we don’t know that for sure.”

He said they are waiting for blood work results, and if they do not come back OK right away, the hospital will do more testing. The hospital staff do not plan to get Cierrah out of bed until Friday, he added.

Meanwhile, he said, the family is overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of those who have been supportive of Cierrah and the family.

“We are ever so thankful for everything that everybody’s done and helped out with,” he said. “We’re just very blessed. We’re very appreciative of what’s happened and what’s not, and we’re just wanting the best to happen for Squeaky, so that she is able to ride her bike.”

“Squeaky” is a nickname her grandfather gave her years ago when she was little and he had hearing problems. When she spoke, all he could hear were squeaking sounds, he said. Cierrah got a new bike last year but was able to ride it only twice, according to the family.

A voracious reader of young adult fantasy novels, Cierrah is a straight-A, high honors student at Skowhegan Area Middle School, where she was named Student of the Month for April.

“We miss her, we’re thinking of her and we’re wishing her the best,” school Principal Zachary Longyear said Wednesday. “She’s just a great kid. We’re family here. That’s how we try to operate.”

Since a column published Monday in the Morning Sentinel about Cierrah’s situation, authors and others have come forward, saying they are touched by her story and want to send her autographed books.

Cierrah said last week that she wants one day to visit the Books-A-Million in South Portland, a store she sees from the highway as she and her grandparents travel to and from Children’s Hospital. She has not been able to go there because she has been in so much pain, according to her grandparents.

Dean Sherwood, general manager of Books-A-Million, contacted the Morning Sentinel this week to say he and others at the store read the column about Cierrah and her battle with cancer and they would like to help.

“First, we would like to send her a get well card and several books while she is in the hospital in Boston,” Sherwood said in his email to a reporter.  “Are you able to contact her grandparents to find out if this would be OK with them? Perhaps you can get us a couple authors she likes but hasn’t read yet.”

Sherwood also said store employees want to invite her to schedule a visit to the store.

“We would be more than happy to make her visit extra-special for her and her family,” Sherwood wrote. “We can do things such as giving them a tour of the store, explaining the inner workings of the store, supplying her with a personal shopping assistant and giving her a gift card to help her find those special books.”

Author Apryl Baker wrote to say Cierrah’s story spoke to her and she wants to send her signed copies of her “The Ghost Files” series. EJ Fechenda, a cancer survivor and one of the authors of the Havenwood Falls High series, also wrote to say she and other authors in the series want to send signed paperback books to Cierrah.

Wayne Blodgett said the family is heartened and grateful for such love, good wishes and outpouring of support from complete strangers.

“Oh, my goodness. Oh, my goodness,” he said.

Anyone wanting to send cards to Cierrah may mail them to Boston Children’s Hospital, Room 1004A, 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115.

 

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