Until June 7, 2012, my biggest fear as a parent was getting cancer and leaving my wife and twin daughters. That was the day that we got the news no parent ever wants to hear your daughter has cancer. On that afternoon in June, Sadie was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and the lives of my family were forever changed. At just 23 months old, Sadie hadn’t had much more than a cold. She was very energetic and vibrant along with her twin Layla. It was so improbable to think that one of my babies had a disease we thought of as a death sentence.

We were told that Sadie would be scheduled for emergency surgery to insert a port under her skin where she would receive chemotherapy. We learned about spinal taps, chemotherapy, clinics, oncology, hematology, ports and potions. The words seemed to run in one ear and out the other we were all in a fog of disbelief. All I knew was I had to find a way to make sense of this all to myself and to my daughter; I had to find a way to make her comfortable with something I could never be comfortable with. We were still swallowing this awful nightmare, when we were released to go home and begin our very long road to recovery.

Suddenly, the nightmare got worse; her port got infected with 5 separate infections. After only a few days at home, we were back in Golisano Children’s Hospital for a month. We were consumed with the dire situation our daughter was in and not wanting to have to deal with possibilities that were getting frightfully close to reality. There was a near constant train of doctors and nurses in and out of our room trying to help my baby. For a while, Sadie would cry anytime a person came in her hospital room and put on those blue gloves.

Then, one day, we realized something; Sadie became comfortable. She stopped crying whenever someone entered the room to the contrary, the doctors, nurses and staff became her friends. They became a second family; taking care of us as much as her. However, Sadie gave me the best treatment, she gave me hope. She showed me that she’s got more living to do and nothing was going to stop her.

As our time went on, we learned more about Sadie’s condition and though we never have become comfortable with it, we found our new normal. As parents, my wife and I have seen our daughters grow up in a unique way because of our circumstances. Sadie handles all her treatments and procedures with more poise than most adults could. Her sister Layla has become Sadie’s best and most caring nurse. At an age where kids are supposed to look up to their parents, I’m finding that my daughters are my heroes.

UPDATE: So much has changed since last year’s (2013) Butterfly Run. Miss Sadie has hair, good color in her chubby cheeks and her smile has returned. She is now in maintenance therapy and will officially be done with treatment October 2014. She still takes chemo every single night before bed, steroids one week every month and is at the hospital every month for chemotherapy and or a spinal tap. We can’t wait until she is done!!!!!!!!

:)