Avery is 11-years-old and currently battling acute myeloid leukemia.

“It was a normal day in October, my daughter Avery had been experiencing weakness and pain in her right ankle for about 2 months when something nudged me to take her to the doctor. The first visit was relieving, maybe a sprain? Our doctor recommended ice, rest and Tylenol. After three weeks, I picked Avery up from school and she was in severe pain. We visited the doctor again and an X-ray was warranted. The X-ray lead to an MRI and the MRI drove us to the emergency room. Little did we know that would be the beginning of a long battle of Avery’s acute myeloid leukemia.

She’s just completed her third round of chemo, but if you’ve ever experienced cancer, you know chemo is the beginning of the battle. The war with chemo is the aftermath. As contained as Avery is and regardless of following all the hygiene rules, we keep running into infections. Infections that set us back in our struggle. The endless blood tests, cultures, EKGs, meeting with the doctors and pill after pill after pill. This experience has been hard on Avery and an overwhelming struggle for her sister, Ella. I am a single mom and our somewhat chaotic, but normal life has been turned upside down. Avery’s illness is hard enough but driven to take unpaid leave from work to care for a consistently inpatient Avery and the endless need to find places for her 7-year-old sister to sleep while we’re living at Texas Children’s Hospital is devastating.”

“Cancer has taught me inner strength and resilience – I uncovered my ability to cope with difficult situations, deal with stress, and overcome the odds. Not only am I strong but also sensitive. I’ve faced cancer by being completely myself; sensitive to mine and other’s needs. I want society to know that being strong AND sensitive as possible.”

Avery

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