On April 3rd, 2010, at the age of 15, as a high school freshman in Fulton, I was diagnosed with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. My somewhat “normal” teenage life with school and athletics changed forever. I began one of the protocol treatments with a series of chemotherapies for this childhood cancer at Golisano Children’s Hospital.
In mid-July, I relapsed and lost my vision in both eyes. I spent two weeks at Golisano adjusting and processing what was occurring in my life. In September, I traveled to Boston Children’s Hospital where I underwent a bone marrow transplant and my older brother was my donor. After months in the hospital and 2 weeks in ICU where I almost did not survive, I was transported back by ambulance to Golisano to begin my intense physical and occupational therapy. With the support of my doctors and therapists at Golisano I achieved my goal and made it home for Christmas after 100 days in the hospital. My doctors and support team at Golisano are truly my lifeline and it is a blessing to have them just 40 minutes from my front door.
Currently, I am at home recovering and I am halfway through my year in isolation. I still see my team at Golisano on a weekly basis at clinic, while also preparing for AP exams and regents. I am working hard to walk again, learn Braille, and learn daily living skills now that I am visually impaired for life. Cancer may be tough but I am tougher!