Our family’s journey fighting blood cancer began after our 6-year-old daughter, Alyssa, had a procedure performed on her foot to correct a congenital problem. After being in a cast for 6 weeks, she still was unable to walk and was feeling unexplainably ill. As parents, we knew something else was wrong.
We visited the pediatrician multiple times about both of these issues. Additionally, Alyssa started sweating through her sheets on a nightly basis and slow to heal bruises began to appear. Each time we were told she was probably fighting off a nasty virus and it was likely “normal kid stuff”.
On the morning of December 16, 2018, Alyssa woke up feeling extremely sick to her stomach. We went to the hospital and the doctor immediately ordered blood tests and soon after we were transferred to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).
When we arrived, we were greeted by a group of wonderful nurses and a pediatric oncologist who told us the news that would change our lives. Alyssa was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). We were shocked and devastated. It never occurred to us that our little girl could be that sick.
Alyssa spent three weeks at CHOP and began the intensive multi-year treatment that will hopefully cure her leukemia. Alyssa has been through the unimaginable over the last 2 years and has managed to stay vibrant, hopeful and compassionate for people and animals alike. She just celebrated her 8th birthday in October and a new puppy named KoKo! She loves playing with her furry best friend and has an exuberant love for arts and crafts.
Even though Alyssa is thriving, there is still so much more work that needs to be done and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is at forefront of revolutionary cancer research, patient support and advocacy. We climb with Big Climb Philly because we know LLS will keep climbing for families like ours until we find a cure. We are so proud to support LLS and honored for Alyssa to be the 2021 Big Climb Philly Honored Hero!
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The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is the world's largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. The LLS mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world and provides free information and support services. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is a 501(c)(3) organization, and all monetary donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by tax laws. Please check with your financial advisor if you have more questions.