“When I was born I had 3 holes in my heart. When I was 9 months old, Mom and Dad and I moved from Illinois back to Indiana so I could get my heart fixed at Riley. I had surgery when I was 10 months old. The biggest hole in my heart was almost the size of a dime. When Mom and Dad came in to see me in the ICU, they uncovered me and saw that for the first time ever my toes were pink. My heart was working great!
After 5 days in the hospital I got to go home. Life was great after my heart surgery. I grew, got a brother, started school and was loving life! Then when I was 7 years old I started getting sick a lot. One day Mom took me to the doctor for an ear infection. I got my favorite pink medicine and was ready to feel better. But I didn’t feel better. I kept getting sicker over that weekend. On Monday Mom took me back to the doctor to get my ear checked again. The doctor sent us to a hospital for blood work. Then she called and said we needed to go to Riley because my blood work was not good.
In the ER at Riley they did another blood draw. I was not happy about this. I do NOT like needle sticks! A doctor came in and told us I was very sick and would have to stay at the hospital. After more tests the next day, we found out that I had leukemia. I started chemo the next day. My treatment lasted for 26 months. Over those 26 months I spent 30 nights at Riley. I had 4 bone marrow aspirations, 20 spinal taps, lots of blood transfusions and more needle sticks than anyone can count. I took over three thousand pills.
In February 2007, I took my last chemo pill ever!! In February 2012, I hit the 5-year off treatment mark, which means I am officially cured of my cancer! Thank you for dancing and raising money for Riley Hospital to help my friends and me!”