Meet Emilie, she is 3-years-old and in remission from acute myeloid leukemia.
Emilie was diagnosed at 9-months-old with acute myeloid leukemia, or AML. The day of diagnosis was beyond one of the most devastating days of our lives. To know that our baby would have to fight a big battle to keep a life that was just beginning. A chest line was put in and [Emilie] immediately started chemotherapy. After her first round of chemo, the doctor informed us that unfortunately, her leukemia didn’t reach less than 8% in her bone marrow biopsy and that chemotherapy alone wouldn’t cure her cancer.
The doctor said that Emilie would need a bone marrow transplant. Right away we got tested and had our other children tested. My husband and I were only 50% matches and unfortunately none of our children matched her at all. So, we searched for about 2 months for a donor. Thankfully, we received so much help from friends, family and even received an amazing outpour of people that didn’t know us! They helped us search [for a donor] by getting tested and setting up bone marrow drives so people could get tested. However, about 10,000 people got tested and no one matched Emilie. Seeing our baby go through such a hard battle, feeling hopeless as a parent, and being away from our other children while we took care of our baby [Emilie] was beyond hard. My husband’s and my heart felt like it was being torn into a million pieces, torn so slowly that you could feel every bit of pain as a parent.
Emilie [has since] went through 4 rounds of chemotherapy and had her transplant. She had another year of chemotherapy and finished July of 2018. We are so grateful for everyone that took the time to help find a donor and set up testing sites without knowing us all over the world. Even though we didn’t find a donor, many of the people that got tested in Emilie’s name have written to me and have let me know that they matched someone else. It’s an amazing thing to be able to help someone else in need.
Emilie today is in remission for 2-years-old now, and her transplant is holding strong. My husband was the best donor at a 50% match. He underwent a bone marrow harvest and on 6/15/17 and our Emilie got her transplant. It is a beautiful feeling to see how much of a strong bond Emilie has with her daddy! It is such a blessing to be able to see our baby grow and be a normal toddler. Emilie was so used to the hospital life of pain, meds, blood work, procedures, and so much heartache, but she is now able to enjoy swinging on a swing, playing, singing, and just being a 3-year-old enjoying life, being a beautiful butterfly!