Even at the height of her illness, Zoey Talbert was like the Energizer Bunny. She rode her bicycle around the halls of the hospital, her IV pole trailing behind.
“She got a little mellow toward the middle of her treatment,” Crystal Talbert said of her daughter. “She had some nausea and grossness, but she never truly lost spunk at all.”
In October 2015, Zoey’s doctors found a Wilms tumor in her kidney, a form of cancer most common in children. Her family had to move to Seattle to receive regular treatment. She finished her treatment in October and the Talbert family was able to move back to Bellingham.
We’ve been homebound and pretty much isolated. Now that she’s finally past that and we get to go on vacation, it’s nice.
Crystal Talbert about her daughter Zoey
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The Make A Wish Foundation helped Zoey celebrate her fifth birthday here Sunday.
Volunteer Shawna Frolich helped plan the party at JD Elite Fitness in Bellingham. Zoey and her friends celebrated at a Hawaiian-themed party featuring some of her favorite things: McDonald’s pancakes, Pure Bliss cupcakes and hula dancers.
“I’ve been really happy with the community response,” Frolich said. “Local places are really happy to participate.”
Now, Zoey is looking forward to an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii with her family, donated by Make A Wish. The Talbert family leaves for Disney’s Aulani resort in about two weeks.
“Zoey’s super excited, constantly,” Crystal Talbert said. “She always says, ‘Are we going to the beach yet? Can I go to Hawaii yet?’ … “It’s kind of a weird comfort,” Crystal Talbert added. “We’ve gone through all this turmoil, and to know there’s someone who wants to make it feel better, even if it’s not making everything OK, it helps to buffer (it).”