The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society - Fighting Blood Cancers
15 Replies Latest reply: Jul 9, 2012 3:22 PM by ChzDad RSS

Hello, and want to share hope

Eleanora Registered Users
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My daughter, Mary Kate, was DX in 2001 with ALL. She went through 3 years of chemo and is now 8 years OT. Amazingly, she has had NO side effects. She is in AP classes, has a high GPA, great reading and writing skills, NO physical problems.  I am just so thankful she is still walking the face of the earth.  When we got through chemo in 2004, she said she wanted to do something to give back. She read about a little girl who did lemonade stands to raise money for a cure. It was "Alex", who lost her battle to cancer many years ago. My 4 kids have run a lemonade/brownie stand every year for 9 years. The first year they did about $450. Each year we have done better, and they have raised over $2000 each year for the last several years. the total for the 9 years is over $14,000.  We will continue to do the stand in honor of children who are still struggling and facing leukemia , lymphoma, or other blood related cancers. I still try to visit here, but I was DX with breast cancer last year. I am FINE, and done with my mastectomy, chemo, and reconstruction,   Mary Kate was my hero and inspiration. I figured if she could go through cancer at 6, I could do it at 51.  Best wishes and God's Blessings to you all........

  • Re: Hello, and want to share hope
    kimmeebee Registered Users
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    That's amazing!!

     

     

    My daughter is now almost 7 and has been OT for 14 months. She doesn't have any apparent side effects either, thank God.

  • Re: Hello, and want to share hope
    Djlawman Registered Users
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    Eleanora -- Great to hear that about Mary Kate.  And good news from you too, Kimmeebee! 

     

    From my end, Sam (5+ years OT now, and 8+  years in remission) just did a double century -- He rode 100 miles two days in a row on his bicycle.  He's working full time at Children's Hospital in Boston as a research assistant, and having a great time.  Feels great. 

     

    Best to all.

     

    Doug

    • Re: Hello, and want to share hope
      SweetPotato Registered Users
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      Wow, that is so great that Sam is working at Children's Hospital.  That was fun to read! He sounds very healthy to ride that long!!

       

      Eleanora, I am so happy to hear that you are feeling fine after breast cancer treatment. I love hearing about Mary-Kate and your family's lemonade stand. Mary-Kate is the only child I've heard of during these past 5 years that presented her leukemia diagnosis in a round about way like my own daughter, Isabel.  Who is now three full years off treatment (and hit five years in remission) and is in excellent health-a bright and happy ten year old. 

      • Re: Hello, and want to share hope
        Eleanora Registered Users
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        Hey, kimmeebee, doug, and Sweet potato! It is great to hear from each of you. so glad your kids are doing well. doug, we have talked for a long time. Every time I think about all the sweet children who have not won their fight,it just makes us more determined to do our stand every year. that is so cool that Sam is working as a research assistant at Childrens'.what wonderful "Karma" or what ever we could call it. He has walked  a great road, and is giving back in a way that would make any  of us SO Happy and proud!

        Sweet potato, Yes! I remember you and sweet Isabel! They did present in such a strange way. It usually is an inflated white count, right? and our girls were "empty". I remember her marrow was "empty" and the Onc said "she really didn't have enough cells to technically be DX as leukemia. He said he knew she had it, bur he would have to send it off to a lab to really prove it. Those early days were so hard and bad. And Mary Kate was DX the week of 9/11. It was not good.

        I still am SO happy Mary Kate is so normal and happy and healthy.

      • Re: Hello, and want to share hope
        abslater Registered Users
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        Hi - I'm curious how your girls presented -- since they're doing so great, I'm of course looking for similarities! My daughter had low WBC of 3300 - and high esonophils - they thought she had an auto immune disorder. Also, 7% Leukemia cells at diagnosis -- I know they don't stage it, but I like to think that since it was low, that it was "early"... so happy to hear the good stories out there...xoxo b

    • Re: Hello, and want to share hope
      Djlawman Registered Users
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      And here is Sam in his lab at Children's Hospital in Boston.  Yes, that's one of his research mice on his shoulder! 

       

      Sam lab with mouse.jpg

       

      you can click on the picture and get a closer look at the mouse. 

  • Re: Hello, and want to share hope
    Eleanora Registered Users
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    DSC00360.JPGThis is my sweet Mary Kate on the beach at Orange Beach, Alabama. I am so grateful that she is alive. There are still so many children that don't have good outcomes, that have serious side effects........We continue to support and care for all those still battling leukemia or lymphoma.....

  • Re: Hello, and want to share hope
    Registered Users
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    Thank you for sharing Mary Kate's and your stories. What strong survivors you both are! A real encouragement to anyone going through chemotherapy. I love Mary Kate's heart in serving others and for following Alex's footsteps in using the lemonade stand to generate support to find a cure. My prayers for both of your continued health and strength and that you would be a source of strength and inspiration to those going through the same thing.

  • Re: Hello, and want to share hope
    Registered Users
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    That's awesome to hear Eleanora! So happy for you and your daughter--keep giving and sharing, it is amazing to see!!

    love, Katie

  • Re: Hello, and want to share hope
    ChzDad Registered Users
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    I am glad I checked in again. Eleanora, I do remember reading about Mary Kate when Chz was dx in 2007. He is now over 1 year OT and over 4 years in remission. I am glad to hear about Sam, Isabel and Kimmeebee. I hope you are doing well on your treatment. All the best!

     

    Chz is currently in Dublin, Ireland spending his summer there interning with a venture capital firm. He was one of a few lucky students in his university to be sent there. My wife and I had a chance to visit with him in Dublin two weeks ago. He also flew in one weekend in London to spend time with us. He is quite active in fund raising efforts where he attend school at USC. Here is a most recent photo of him.... For those in the midst of tx, we were all there where you are now. There is HOPE! I am just happy that our son is living his life to the fullest.

     

    Noel

     

    Chz Stnhnge.jpg

    • Re: Hello, and want to share hope
      Djlawman Registered Users
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      Noel -- great to see Chz doing so well.  Great picture of him at Stonehenge! 

       

      Doug

      • Re: Hello, and want to share hope
        Eleanora Registered Users
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        It is so great to hear from everyone! Doug, I love Sam's picture! so cool that he is working at Childrens' in Boston. Mary Kate loved the picture, too, although she worried about the fate of the mouse on his shoulder.....:)    Noel, that IS a great picture of Chaz! To think of us all talking years ago, going through it all. It is good to hear from you and know that they are doing great, too.  Sweetpotato, I am so glad Isabel is doing great. Abslater, Mary Kate started off just "sick"= nauseated, tired, pale, throwing up, and  then over a long weekend, (Labor day) she started running a fever of 105+. I could get it down with Advil and cool baths, but it would go right back up as soon as the Advil wore off. She was  on antibiotics for what we thought might be a urinary tract infection, so I gave it a day, but after 24 hours, I took her to the emergency room.  They admitted her and said her white count was "low".  I found out later it was ZERO.  The doctor said her marrow was like it was "empty".  They had to send off a piece, sliced up, to look under the microscope, and she technically didnt' have enough bad cells to be DX as leukemia, but he said he would "call it".  She also had a huge sore on her arm, that I thought might be a spider bite. It was white, surrounded by angry red that kept spreading. they were more worried about that at the onset than the leukemia. Dr. said he knew what to do with the leukemia, they didnt' know how to get rid of the infection.  IT was scary.    It is so good to hear from everybody.

      • Re: Hello, and want to share hope
        ChzDad Registered Users
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        Thanks to all! Doug, we were not planning to take Chz to Stonehenge since our land tour will cover it. Chz was not able to join us in that 2 week land tour due to his work. He flew in from Dublin to London for a weekend before we started. I ended up renting a car just so we could take him to Stonehenge - the look in his face when we arrived there was priceless! The things we do for our children. Hope to meet you in person one of these days. Take care. Tell Sam, Chaz is sending his best! He has gained weight with all the Guinness!

  • Re: Hello, and want to share hope
    Shakinquaker Registered Users
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    Wow!  It is so great to "hear" from everybody!  The Mary Kate, Sam and Chz all look great!  I can't believe that same has that icky mouse on his shoulder!  Elias is now getting close to 2 years OT (in September).  He has some lingering effects, but the only people who can tell are the testing folks and teachers (and parents, of course).  No complaints about that! 

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