The following story is one from a dear friend of mine about their precious little girl. Thank you to Pampers for providing a very generous monetary donation to this sweet family in order to help them continue to fight and help make life #BetterForBaby.
Aubree was diagnosed with ALL Leukemia on October 21, 2014.
We first started noticing a change in her health around the beginning on September 2014. On a short walk home from her cousins house she began to limp, having a lot of pain in her foot. We never saw her fall, but found it odd that she would continue to limp for days in pain especially when she would normally she would shrug this type of injury off. My wife Molly decided to take her to the doctor, and at the time they suggested sending her to Missions Children’s Hospital to have an x-ray on her foot.
After the visit there, we found out there was no injury to be seen. Both the bones and ligaments looked to be fine, yet she continued to limp in pain. During this time we also began to notice her sensitivity to hot/cold water. Bath time used to be fun and playful until this change took place. The water was either scorching hot or way to cold (in reality it was lukewarm). We also noticed that when we tried to pick her up she cringed when we lifted her saying it hurt. We continued to take her to the doctor and they began to run bloodwork.
The first couple of trips, the doctors were pretty confident she was trying to fight off some sort of virus. About a week after this Aubree fell in our field walking to her great grandmothers. She was in extreme pain and was now limping on both feet. Once again we went back to the doctors who sent us back to the hospital to have x-rays. Once again both came back negative. As the doctors continued to take her blood work, they seemed to not be getting any better, in fact they started to get worse. The dreaded phone call came one Saturday morning, when the word “cancer” was thrown out as a possibility of her abnormal blood work and foot pains. So many emotions run through your mind, especially when there is so much uncertainty.
They recommended we see the Child Oncologist at Mission Hospital to get a second opinion. After meeting the Oncologist they still felt certain that it could still be a virus, but just looking at her. She didn’t necessarily feel bad, she just had a lot of bone pain. They did feel it was necessary to take a bone marrow sample in order to be 100% sure. The next day we arrived and they put Aubree to sleep to pull the sample. The moment we left they room, Molly just knew. She knew that Aubree had cancer, it was just a gut feeling. Unfortunately she was right, we were rushed off to the hospital for our 10 day stay. Those first days were filled with so many emotions.
Not knowing the road we have to travel, leaning heavily on prayer, family and friends. Aubree was hit with many hard doses of Chemo that first month and began a heavy regimen of steroids, which caused her to gain 12 pounds in two week. On top of all that, she still refused to walk, due to the fear her feet would hurt. In fact, she didn’t walk for almost 8 weeks. Every day we encouraged her to stand up, maybe take a step, but each day we were turned away. It just so happened that Aubree’s big super hero birthday party was going to take place at our Church. Molly and I were rushing around trying to get everything ready to go (I guess I forgot to mention at the time we had a 4 month old little boy). I was standing in the living room and I heard a voice from Aubree’s bedroom say “Hey dad, check this out”. Low and behold Aubree was walking down the hall pushing a stroller. Slow and steady, but she was doing it! We celebrated right then and there, but knew we had to leave to make it to the party. Once at the party, Aubree was excited to show everyone what she could do. And what a blessing it was to see her walk around with no help. It was just like seeing a 12 month old take their first steps all over again. Except this was our big 3 year old!
We got the great news the week of Thanksgiving in 2014 that Aubree in fact had gone into remission, and is still in remission to this day. Over a year and counting so far, but that’s not to say there haven’t been bumps in the road. We have dealt with a few hospital visits due to her catching a fever virus or cold. We have dealt with delays waiting for her blood counts to improve so she can get the necessary chemo to move her treatment forward. During these delays there was so much uncertainty on why her counts were low. There was always the fear of cancer returning but the doctors were very supportive and helpful in letting us know that wasn’t the case. As of August 2015 Aubree is now taking Chemo pills from home and only having to go to the cancer center once a month!
Through the Grace of God we continue to see the Light at the End of the Tunnel. He has blessed us with one strong, courageous, loving little girl with a Heart of Gold. The thousands of prayers for her have never fell on deaf ears, as God has a wonderful plan for her future. Though we continue this path for a couple of years, we know she is in good hands with a great medical staff and a great plan on how she needs to be treated.