When I was born, I was healthy and hardly ever got sick. Well, when I turned one, I had fevers that would come and go and then my mom started to notice I would limp and bruise easily. My mom decided to take me to the hospital after a persistent fever and the limping and bruising got worse. The doctors then referred us to Valley Children’s where they did blood work on me.
After the results came in my parents heard the words no one ever wants to hear: their one-year-old daughter is now diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML).
My mom at 20 years old didn’t only have to worry about her daughter going in and out of the hospital, she now had to worry about our insurance and being able to cover the treatment. I was treated for six months and underwent chemotherapy, biopsies, and so many other procedures.
Growing up, I knew I had cancer and that I was a survivor, but I never really knew what cancer was, and how it affects the body and mind. As a child, I remember waking up and not being able to walk and the only thing I could do is scream for mom and dad to help. Needles were something I became accustomed to after the monthly to yearly blood work.
In high school, I finally realized that the stories I hear about cancer are what my family went through. I started to participate in small things like going to the survivorship conferences and kids’ day which is a central valley event orchestrated by the Valley Children's hospital where high school students raise money by selling newspapers. Junior year came around and I had the opportunity to be a part of Students of the Year, and this is the event that gave me my relationship with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). After this, I attended Light The Night and was even an ambassador for LLS’s 2021 Students of the Year.
Every survivor knows your cancer does not define you, nor will it ever. However, as I have grown as an individual, I have reconnected with my past. I am now embracing what I had undergone and I hope to make a difference and inspire people with my story.