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We are a proud supporter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Our personal champion inspires our involvement and her name is Kate.
Read Kate’s story below and please consider making a donation today.

Kate’s Story

The uncertainty 2020 brought to the world was intensified exponentially for Kate and her family. The day after her 6th birthday in June, which was meant to be joyous, turned into a year of unknowns, heartache, and ultimately a triumph. Throughout a challenging three-month period of ups, downs and misdiagnosis, Kate’s mother Jodi, continued to search for an answer. Then finally, she got a name for the recent darkness in their life and heard the words no parent is prepared to hear. Your daughter has cancer.

In September of 2020, Kate was diagnosed with B Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). Once having a name for this darkness, the path to healing could begin. As of September 2021, Kate continues to have an excellent prognosis and is in long term maintenance with an end of treatment date set for November 12, 2022.

The particular blood cancer Kate battles is the most common for children. But for Kate, nothing about the journey to the diagnosis was common. After experiencing pain in her knee, low energy, and low-grade fevers; her mother knew something was wrong but could not detect what. Finally, Jodi took Kate to the emergency room after a weekend inconsolable with pain.

Doctors found a high level of inflammation in Kate’s knee, but blood tests looked normal, and no other typical cancer symptoms presented. Once being transferred to children’s hospital, Kate was misdiagnosed, and endured an unneeded surgery to address her inflamed knee joint. The surgery did show initial improvements but days later, Kate’s other joints began to hurt and show signs of inflammation. “I felt so powerless as she couldn’t even lift her arm to feed herself,” said Jodi recalling the situation. After numerous other tests and finally an oncology consult, where a bone marrow test was preformed, the dreaded diagnosis was given.

After Kate’s diagnosis and in preparation of the battle ahead, Jodi discovered LLS as a resource. “I have benefitted from their [LLS] informational webinars about all aspects of living with a blood cancer.” Jodi reveals. Many of the treatments used for children are still the same type used since the beginning of modern cancer therapies. “I want to focus specifically on helping to advance research in chemos which target only cancer cells and not just any fast-growing cell to improve the quality of life for kiddos going through treatment.” says Jodi. Chemotherapy is harsh for everyone but imagine the kind of strain this puts on the growing body of a child. This does not take into account the childhood time stolen from them as they battle the cancer.

For cancers such as ALL, achieving remission is only part of the challenge; staying in remission is a battle all its own. With a little over a year left in Kate’s care plan, she has been fortunate to have reached remission and have a positive prognosis. She continues to remain strong and unwavering in her will to fully beat the cancer and change her name from patient to survivor.

Kate on April 9, 2021 during the last cycle of aggressive chemo before maintenance.

Kate on June 14, 2022 taking a break from riding her bike to pick flowers.

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